Intercostal muscles and purring in the cat: the influence of afferent inputs

Brain Res. 1987 Mar 3;405(1):187-91. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(87)91007-9.


Feline purring has previously been reported as originating in a central oscillator, independent of afferent inputs, and also as not involving expiratory muscles. Here we show, via electromyographic recordings from intercostal muscles, quantified by cross-correlation, that expiratory muscles can be involved and that even if the oscillator is central, reflex components nevertheless play a considerable part in the production of the periodic pattern of muscle activation seen during purring.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Electromyography
  • Intercostal Muscles / physiology*
  • Intercostal Nerves / physiology*
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Muscle Spindles / physiology
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Reflex / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Thoracic Nerves / physiology*