Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

The Respiratory Function of the Human Larynx [From Experimental Studies in the Physiological Laboratory of Harvard University, Offprint]
Hooper, Franklin H.
the intrinsic muscles of the larynx is the inferior or re¬ 
current laryngeal. This nerve, according to our present 
knowledge, is purely motor, * and supplies all the intrinsic 
laryngeal muscles except the longitudinal tensors, the thyro- 
cricoids. It is an anatomical fact that it does not send off 
any branches to these muscles until it has reached the 
border of the cricoid cartilage. In its trunk, therefore, are 
contained two sets of nerve fibers—the respiratory and the 
phonatory—which must necessarily be strictly differentiated, 
since they are destined for muscles which carry on two 
separate and distinct functions. Now, where do these two 
sets of nerve filaments come from ; is their origin as dis¬ 
tinct as their function ; whence do they derive their sepa¬ 
rate individualities ; which are relatively or numerically the 
stronger ? 
The sources from which nervous impulses-for the larynx 
may be received are the brain, the medulla oblongata, and 
the spinal cord. The channels through which they may be 
transmitted are the several motor nerves which join the 
pneumogastric before tbe recurrent is given off, for we are 
aware that from this point the recurrent proceeds to the 
larynx without any branch or junction which is in any way 
connected with the functions of that organ. 
The experimental researches of Krause,f and the clinical 
observations of .l.)elavan,J justify the belief that there is a 
* We are aware that some have stated, but without giving Experi¬ 
mental data to substantiate the assertion, that the recurrent contains 
sensory as well as motor fibers. We have not the space here to dwell 
upon our own experiments to determine this point, but they justify our 
remark that the recurrent is “purely motor.’’ 
■j- “Ueber die Beziehungen der Grosshirnrinde zu Kehlkopf und 
Rachen,” “ Sitzungsberichte der kgl. preuss. Akad. der Wissensch. zu 
Berlin,” November, 1883. 
f “ On the Localization of the Cortical Motor Center of the Larynx,” 
New York “ Med. Record,” February 14, 1885.


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