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Type: Journal article
Title: Task-dependent control of human masseter muscles from ipsilateral and contralateral motor cortex
Author: Pearce, S.
Miles, T.
Thompson, P.
Nordstrom, M.
Citation: Experimental Brain Research, 2001; 137(1):65-70
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Issue Date: 2001
ISSN: 0014-4819
Statement of
Sophie L. Butler, Timothy S. Miles, Philip D. Thompson, Michael A. Nordstrom
Abstract: Corticotrigeminal projections to human masseter motoneuron pools were investigated with focal transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Responses in left and right masseter muscles were quantified from the surface electromyogram (EMG) during different biting tasks. During bilateral biting, TMS elicited motor evoked potentials (MEPs) in both masseter muscles. On average, the MEP area in the masseter contralateral to the stimulus was 39% larger than in the ipsilateral muscle, despite comparable pre-stimulus EMG in both muscles. MEPs elicited while subjects attempted unilateral activation of one masseter muscle were compared with those obtained in the same muscle during a bilateral bite at an equivalent EMG level. MEPs in the masseter contralateral to the stimulated hemisphere were significantly smaller during unilateral compared with bilateral biting. There was no significant difference in the size of ipsilateral MEPs during ipsilateral and bilateral biting. We conclude that the corticotrigeminal projections to masseter are bilateral, with a stronger contralateral projection. The command for unilateral biting is associated with a reduced excitability of corticotrigeminal neurons in the contralateral, but not the ipsilateral motor cortex. We suggest that this may be accomplished by reduced activity of a population of corticotrigeminal neurons which branch to innervate both masseter motoneuron pools.
Keywords: Transcranial magnetic stimulation; Masticatory muscles; Trigeminal; Human
Description: The original publication can be found at
RMID: 0020010521
DOI: 10.1007/s002210000626
Appears in Collections:Physiology publications

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