Influence of food thickness and hardness on possible feed-forward control of the masseteric muscle activity in the anesthetized rabbit

Neurosci Res. 2001 Jan;39(1):21-9. doi: 10.1016/s0168-0102(00)00192-9.


The facilitatory masseteric muscle response (FMR) elicited by polyurethane foam strip application between the opposing molars during cortically-induced rhythmic jaw movements (CRJMs) was induced earlier than masticatory force onset. The occurrence of this early response of the FMR (e-FMR) could not be explained by a simple reflex mechanism. One possible mechanism of the e-FMR is the involvement of a feed-forward control mechanism of the masticatory jaw movement. In the present study, experimentally designed polyurethane foam strips with various thickness and hardness were applied during CRJMs and analyzed in terms of how the e-FMR was modulated by the food hardness and thickness. The FMR onset was not related to the strip thickness or the strip hardness. However, the magnitude of the e-FMR increased in a thickness and a hardness-dependent manner. The sensory information of the food properties in the masticatory cycle may make the FMR adequate to chewing of the food in the following cycle, and such modulation may help chewing rhythms remain stable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Anesthesia
  • Animals
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Food*
  • Hardness
  • Jaw / physiology
  • Male
  • Masseter Muscle / physiology*
  • Mastication / physiology*
  • Rabbits