Innervation of the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles by the accessory nucleus.
DeToledo JC, David NJ.
Department of Neurology, University of Miami, Miami, Florida 33136, USA. email@example.com
Images moving over the retina at velocities as low as a few degrees per second, in movements as head turning, can degrade visual acuity. Visual acuity requires that even minute motion of the head be compensated for, primarily via optokinetic and vestibular reflexes. Whereas we have a good understanding of some the neuronal networks involved in these reflexes, other components of this network, such as the innervation of the paired muscles that turn and tilt the head, are not as well understood. The involvement of the sternomastoid, cleidomastoid, or trapezius muscles with lesions of the cervicomedullary junction is often not in conformity with the prevailing neuroanatomic descriptions of their innervation by the accessory nuclei. We discuss evidence that: 1) the XI nucleus has a rostral and a caudal portion; 2) analogous to the VII nerve, the rostral portion receives projections from both cerebral hemispheres, whereas the caudal portion is innervated preferentially by the contralateral hemisphere; 3) the caudal XI nucleus innervates the ipsilateral cleidomastoid and trapezius with a predominantly crossed corticonuclear innervation; and 4) The rostral XI nucleus innervates both sternomastoids. Each rostral portion receives projections from both cerebral hemispheres. These anatomic features explain the seemingly discrepant findings in patients with cervicomedullary lesions.