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Original Articles
January 1961

The Peripheral Nervous System of the Human Larynx: Part I. The Mucous Membrane

Arch Otolaryngol. 1961;73(1):1-14. doi:10.1001/archotol.1961.00740020005001

All clinicians are familiar with the protective action of the larynx as guardian of the airway, and with the tremendous speed of its maneuvers. Singers are equally aware of the kinesthetic sense, which enables them to sound the desired note without prompting. These instinctive reactions presume a highly developed nervous system which receives local impulses and relays instructions almost instantaneously. While the central connections and the major nerve trunks of this system are well established, little attention has been devoted to the peripheral innervation of the human larynx.

The purpose of the present study was: (1) a thorough investigation of the peripheral nervous system in the human vocal cord and in the mucous membrane of the arytenoid and interarytenoid areas and the adjoining portion of the hypopharynx; (2) an explanation of these findings on the basis of present anatomic and physiologic concepts; and (3) an examination of the relation of

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