The projection of jaw elevator muscle spindle afferents to fifth nerve motoneurones in the cat
By spike-triggered averaging of intracellular synaptic noise it has been shown in pentobarbitone anaesthetized cats that jaw elevator muscle spindle afferents with their cell bodies in the mid-brain have a relatively weak monosynaptic projection to masseter and temporalis motoneurones. Extending the spike-triggered averaging method to recording extracellular excitatory field potentials it has been shown that virtually all the spindles do project monosynaptically to the motoneurone pool. It is concluded that the general weakness of the projection is due to its restriction to a small proportion of the motoneurones, possibly those concerned most with tonic postural functions. The shape of individual intracellular e.p.s.p.s. together with the spatial distribution of extracellular excitatory potential fields provide some evidence for a dentrically weighted distribution of the synapses. Evidence is presented that both primary- and secondary-type spindle afferents project monosynaptically, the secondary effects being some 71% of the strength of the primary ones.