Ear Lobe

matt spitzer mwspitze at uci.edu
Sat Aug 13 01:30:20 EST 1994

In article <32hbmb$bor at search01.news.aol.com>, footc at aol.com (Foot C)

> Hey, I am serious. Does anyone know if the pinna of the ear is
> somatotopic? Does it appear in the homunculus of the sensory/ motor cortex
> or not.?

Well I suppose a serious question deserves a serious answer.  I don't know
about sensori-motor cortex, but chances are no one has bothered to look. 
In animals with moveable pinnae, the dorsal cochlear nucleus receives
somatosensory input from portions of the dorsal column nuclei that
represent the back of the head and the pinnae.  The following reference may
address part of your question:

Millar, Basbaum (1975).  Topography of the projection of the body surface
of the cat to cuneate and gracile nuclei.  Exp. Neurol.  49: 281-290.

One other thing.  It's not clear from your question and your previous
question whether you are asking if the pinna is represented in the expected
postion within the somatotopic map in sensorimotor cortex, or if the pinna
itself is somatotopic.  I'm also not clear on whether you are referring to
the entire pinna or just the ear lobe, as per the title of this thread. 

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