The function of sensory information from the first somatosensory cortex for facial movements during ingestion in cats
AbstractThe aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between the facial region of the first somatosensory cortex (facial SI) and facial region of the motor cortex (facial MI), as the basis of orofacial behaviors during ingestion of fish paste. Area M in the ventral cortex of the cruciate sulcus that was defined as part of the facial MI by Hiraba et al. (1992 and 1993), showed various facial twitches evoked by intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) and recorded many mastication-related neurons (MRNs). Many MRNs in area M had receptive fields (RFs) in lingual, perioral and mandibular regions. The 60% value of activity patterns of MRNs ( n = 124) recorded in area M of normal cats, were the pre-SB type (the sustained and pre-movement type) that showed increased firing prior to the start of mastication and then tonic activity during the masticatory period. MRNs recorded in area M of cats with the facial SI lesion, showed a noticeable decrease in MRNs with RFs in the perioral and mandibular regions and with activity of the pre-SB type. These results strongly suggest that blocking facial SI sensory inputs evoked by mastication interferes with the relay of important facial sensory information to area M required for the appropriate manipulation of food during mastication.