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A. Van Der Bilt
07-17-2002, 08:24 PM
University Medical Center Utrecht (The Netherlands),
Division Head and Neck,
Department of Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery, Prosthodontics and Special Dental
Care

4 year Ph.D. Fellowship

Salary: maximum 24756 Euro/year

Project title: sensory-motor integration in the masticatory system.

Research in the Department of Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery, Prosthodontics
and Special Dental Care deals with the neuromuscular control of
mastication. Since the jaw-closing muscles belong to the strongest muscles
in the body and act without being aided by visual feedback. Feedback from
peripheral oral receptors has appeared to be of utmost importance for the
neuromuscular control of mastication. Previous research has shown that a
variety of reflex responses can be elicited in the electromyographic
activity of jaw muscles. A concerted action of the various reflex
mechanisms that exert inhibitory as well as excitatory influences on the
motorneurons is required during mastication. The aim of the project is to
gain insight into the functional organisation of oral reflex mechanisms by
studying factors that influence the incidence and magnitude of various
reflex responses. To that end the project will include a study on
phase-dependent modulation of the gain of various reflexes during rhythmic
open-close movements of the jaw. The project will also include studies on
the relationship between reflex response and the receptor type that is
activated. To that end, the site, the mode (electrical, mechanical,
olfactory, taste) and the parameters (intensity, direction, duration) of
stimulation will be varied, or the transfer of afferent activity will be
blocked by using local anaesthesia or muscle vibration. These studies might
also include examining reflex modulation by the influence of a second
stimulus that activates other receptors than the ones that mediate the
reflex response primarily. Apart from techniques for presenting
standardised stimuli and a computerised data processing, a device for
studying simulated chewing is available in which food resistance is
simulated by an electromagnetic force while a subject is performing
rhythmic open-close movements with the jaw.

The successful applicant will have a wide interest in system physiology of
motor control.
Further research information: www.med.uu.nl/BTHK/research.htm

Contact:
Dr. A. van der Bilt (phone +31 30 2533096), or
Prof.Dr. F. Bosman (phone +31 30 2533593), or
Dr. H. W. van der Glas (phone +31 39 2533097)

Department of Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery,
Prosthodontics and Special Dental Care,
University Medical Center Utrecht, STR 4.115
P.O. Box 85060,
3508 AB Utrecht, The Netherlands

E-mail:
a.vanderbilt@med.uu.nl, or
f.bosman@med.uu.nl, or
h.w.vanderglas@med.uu.nl

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