Electromyographic Analysis of the Ingestion and Rejection of Sapid Stimuli in the Rat

Joseph B. Travers, Ralph Norgren

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Previous behavior studies (Grill & Norgren, 1978) demonstrated that gustatory stimuli produce stereotyped orofacial movements that constitute the observable concomitants of ingestion and rejection. For further clarification of the relation between these orofacial movements (the buccal phase of ingestion) and the act of swallowing (the pharyngeal phase), electromyographic responses to intraoral sapid stimulation were recorded from a subset of orofacial and pharyngeal muscles in a freely moving chronic preparation. Activity in a jaw opening muscle (anterior digastric), a facial muscle (zygomatic), tongue protruder (genioglossus), tongue retractor (styloglossus), and a pharyngeal constrictor used in swallowing (thyropharyngeus) differentiated between ingestive sequences to water (W), sucrose (S), and NaCl (N) and a rejection response elicited by quinine monohydrochloride (Q). Ingestion responses to W, S, and N consisted of rhythmic alternations between genioglossus and styloglossus activity (intraoral licks) accompanied by episodic bursts of pharyngeal constrictor activity (swallowing). Both bout duration and the number of swallows increased at higher concentrations of S and N. In contrast, Q stimulation elicited a rejection response, characterized by several licks and followed by long duration contractions of the zygomatic and anterior digastric muscles (gapes). During gapes, styloglossus activity rather than genioglossus activity was simultaneous with that of the anterior digastric. At higher concentrations of Q, the latency to gape decreased and the latency to swallow increased. The earliest components of the response to S, N, or Q were virtually indistinguishable from one another, results suggesting that tactile (fluid) stimulation initiates the ingestive sequence and that gustatory stimuli modulate this ongoing activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)544-555
Number of pages12
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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