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Title: The physiological experiments of Constantin von Economo on the central pathways of mastication and deglutition
Authors: Petousi, Vasiliki G.
Proios, Hariklia
Triarhou, Lazaros C
Type: Article
Subjects: FRASCATI::Medical and Health sciences::Clinical medicine
FRASCATI::Medical and Health sciences::Basic medicine::Neurosciences (including: Psychophysiology)
Keywords: Central pattern generator
Chewing and swallowing
History of Neuroscience
Pontine reticular formation
Substantia nigra
Trigeminal nerve
Subjects MESH: Animals
Brain mapping
Chick embryo
History, 19th Century
Neural Pathways
Issue Date: Oct-2019
Source: Revue Neurologique
Volume: 175
Issue: 9
First Page: 506
Last Page: 518
Abstract: The first study of Constantin von Economo on the mammalian brain was published in 1902. Experiments were carried out in rabbits at the Physiological Institute headed by Siegmund von Exner-Ewarten in Vienna to investigate the central pathways of chewing and swallowing. After placing cortical lesions, Economo applied cortical and subcortical electrical stimulation to obtain masticatory movements, and tracked degenerated fibers by means of the Marchi method. He traced fibers through the internal capsule, ventral nucleus of the thalamus, subthalamic nucleus, substantia nigra and its connections with the motor nucleus of the trigeminal nerve, and nucleus solitarius. He suggested that the substantia nigra is responsible for coordinating alimentation movements, with the involvement of cranial nerves V, VII, IX and X as well. We discuss these findings in a historical and a modern perspective, including the concept of a central pattern generator in the pontine reticular formation and its interaction with the nucleus solitarius. Today we understand that mastication is a voluntary action controlled by motor cortical areas, by motoneurons of the trigeminal, and by a neural pattern generator in the pons. On the other hand, deglutition comprises ‘reflex swallowing’ triggered by sensory fibers of cranial nerves V, IX and X, and ‘voluntary swallowing’ which may be controlled by both cortical fields and subcortical areas, such as the internal capsule, the hypothalamus and the mesencephalic reticular formation. © 2019 Elsevier Masson SAS
ISSN: 0035-3787
Other Identifiers: 10.1016/j.neurol.2018.10.009
Appears in Collections:Department of Educational & Social Policy

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