Consciousness and how it got to be that way

Friday, December 27, 2013

Vestigial Whisker Muscles in Humans

Japanese anatomists have shown that careful dissection of the upper lip shows vestigial vibrissae (whisker) muscles in a third of humans. You know how your cats whiskers go back if you touch them there or they're just annoyed about something? Those. Apes are strange among mammals for not having vibrissae; in particular rodents are thought to construct their pictures of near-space with their whiskers rather than their eyes, and interestingly vibrissae sensory nerves are afferent trigeminal fibers, many of which pass through the superior colliculus, a midbrain visual structure.

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