Ear Lobe

Terry Smith terrys at gastro.apana.org.au
Sun Aug 21 12:16:14 EST 1994

> From: footc at aol.com (Foot C)
> Date: 12 Aug 1994 22:38:03 -0400

> In article
> <mwspitze-120894122153 at phar2.medsurge.hsis.uci.edu>,
> mwspitze at uci.edu (matt spitzer) writes:

> 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.?

> Yuks are fine. But we are trying to find this out. Help?

What on earth do you mean by the second question? In my text
books the pinna appear on the graphical representation of
comparative cortex area assigned to various body parts, but then
again, so do the the eyebrows and eyelashes.

With practice it is possible to `wiggle' the pinna, though I
would imagine this was done by fine control of facial/temporal
muscles. Movement within the pinna is something I have not
observed. I would imagine cats and dogs acheive movement in a
similar way, with no muscle in the pinna itself - check your
library. Even in creatures as dependent on echo-location such as
bats way well use the auditory pathways to `assess' the
positioning of theirs, but again, any book on the subject will
show whether any muscle tissue exists in the pinna.

As to the possibility of mapping onto the sensory cortex, I do
know that if I touch my pinna, or [more to the point probably]
somebody else does, I can feel it. I doubt very much if the
stimulus is assessed in a seperate area of the cortex that those
of other body locations.

As an aside, and not meaning to flame, but if your intention is
to postulate a mechanism by which reflexology `works', wouldn't
you be better off establishing that it _does_ first? [g,d,r.]

Terry Smith
Usenet: terrys at gastro.apana.org.au
Fidonet: 3:800/846.23

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