Orofacial motor actions are movements that, in rodents, involve whisking of the vibrissa, deflection of the nose, licking and lapping with the tongue, and consumption through chewing. These actions, along with bobbing and turning of the head, coordinate to subserve exploration while not conflicting with life-supporting actions such as breathing and swallowing. Orofacial and head movements are comprised of two additive components: a rhythm that can be entrained by the breathing oscillator and a broadband component that directs the actuator to the region of interest. We focus on coordinating the rhythmic component of actions into a behavior. We hypothesize that the precise timing of each constituent action is continually adjusted through the merging of low-level oscillator input with sensory-derived, high-level rhythmic feedback. Supporting evidence is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Neuroscience