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The Head-Neck Sensory Motor System$
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Alain Berthoz, Werner Graf, and P. P. Vidal

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195068207

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195068207.001.0001

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Organization of the Motor Nuclei Innervating Epaxial Muscles in the Neck and Back

Organization of the Motor Nuclei Innervating Epaxial Muscles in the Neck and Back

(p.235) Chapter 36 Organization of the Motor Nuclei Innervating Epaxial Muscles in the Neck and Back
The Head-Neck Sensory Motor System

Yuriko Sugiuchi

Yoshikazu Shinoda

Oxford University Press

The epaxial muscles are axial muscles innervated by the dorsal rami of the spinal nerves. These muscles demonstrate continued action in such a way as to counteract gravity in a decerebrate preparation, and thus they are classified as physiologic extensors. The epaxial muscles, neck muscles in particular, are under the strong influence of long descending motor tracts, especially the vestibulospinal and reticulospinal tracts, and play a significant role in control of postures in standing, in locomotion, and even during voluntary movements of extremities. A relatively small phylogenetic change of the epaxial musculature has occurred from the lower vertebrates to the mammals, as compared with the striking phylogenetic transformation of the hypaxial musculature among vertebrates.

Keywords:   epaxial muscles, spinal nerves, neck muscles, vestibulospinal tract, reticulospinal tract, phylogenetic transformation

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