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Brain Res Bull. 2012 Nov 1;89(3-4):86-91. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2012.07.006. Epub 2012 Jul 22.

Neuronal activities of the vestibular nuclear complex during mechanically induced rhythmic jaw movements in rats.

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Department of Physiology, The Nippon Dental University School of Life Dentistry at Niigata, 1-8 Hamaura-cho, Chuou-ku, Niigata 951-8580, Japan.


We studied the neuronal activities of the vestibular nuclear complex (VN) neurons during rhythmic jaw movements in rats anesthetized with urethane. Rhythmic jaw movements were induced by mechanical stimulation of the palate mucosa. The firing rate of approximately 25% of VN neurons increased significantly, and that of 10% of VN neurons decreased significantly, during these rhythmic jaw movements. There was no correlation between the change in the firing rate and the phase of the rhythmic jaw movements (jaw-opening and jaw-closing phases). The neurons that were affected were intermingled in the VN. These results suggest that the VN neurons are involved in controlling jaw movements.

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