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Mechanoreceptor activity from the human face and oral mucosa


The feasibility of adopting the microneurography technique (Vallbo and Hagbarth 1968) as a tool to investigate the mechanoreceptive innervation of peri- and intra-oral tissues was explored. Multi-unit activity and impulses in single nerve fibers were recorded from the infraorbital nerve in healthy volunteers. The innervation territories of individual nerve fascicles were mapped. These varied considerably but most fascicle fields comprised the corner of the mouth. Twenty-four single mechanoreceptive units were recorded. Eighteen innervated the skin of the face, and six innervated the mucous membranes of the lips or cheeks. A majority of the mechanoreceptive afferent units were slowly adapting with small and well defined receptive fields. It is suggested that the various slowly adapting responses may originate from two different types of afferent units. No afferents showed response properties similar to typical Pacinian-corpuscle afferents.

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Johansson, R.S., Trulsson, M., Olsson, K.Å. et al. Mechanoreceptor activity from the human face and oral mucosa. Exp Brain Res 72, 204–208 (1988).

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Key words

  • Mechanoreceptors
  • Man
  • Face
  • Infraorbital nerve
  • Microneurography
  • Trigeminal nerve
  • Tactile sensibility
  • Cutaneous sensibility
  • Oral mucosa