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The Musculature That Drives Active Touch by Vibrissae and Nose in Mice.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Anat Rec (Hoboken), Volume 298, Issue 7, p.1347-58 (2015)


<p>Coordinated action of facial muscles during whisking, sniffing, and touching objects is an important component of active sensing in rodents. Accumulating evidence suggests that the anatomical schemes that underlie active sensing are similar across the majority of whisking rodents. Intriguingly, however, muscle architecture in the mystacial pad of the mouse was reported to be different, possessing only one extrinsic vibrissa protracting muscle (M. nasalis) in the rostral part of the snout. In this study, the organization of the muscles that move the nose and the mystacial vibrissae in mice was re-examined and compared with that reported previously in other rodents. We found that muscle distribution within the mystacial pad and around the tip of the nose in mice is isomorphic with that found in other whisking rodents. In particular, in the rostral part of the mouse snout, we describe both protractors and retractors of the vibrissae. Nose movements are controlled by the M. dilator nasi and five subunits of the M. nasolabialis profundus, with involvement of the nasal cartilaginous skeleton as a mediator in the muscular effort translation.</p>

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