Viscero-Motor Reflexes


STIMULATION of the sensory nerves of the abdominal viscera has given mixed results in the hands of different observers. Miller and his colleagues1, 2 obtained movements of the hind legs and belly muscles on centripetal stimulation of the mesenteric nerves of decapitated cats. Squeezing the intestine and traction on the mesentery were also effective. Lewis and Kellgren3, on the other hand, obtained no movement of the legs or belly muscles on pinching the duodenum, but did record a rise of blood pressure. Pinching the pancreas caused both muscle movements and rise of blood pressure. McDowall4, in 1942, stated that occlusion of the carotid and vertebral arteries of a decerebrated cat produces a spinal preparation devoid of shock, and that certain stimuli, such as stretching the gut, cause marked limb movements. He pointed out that a successful result is obtained only if the preparation is not over-ventilated.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Miller, F. R., and Simpson, H. M., Trans. Roy. Soc. Canada, Sec. V, 18, 147 (1924).

  2. 2

    Miller, F. R., and Waud, R. A., Amer. J. Physiol., 73, 329 (1925).

  3. 3

    Lewis, T., and Kellgren, J. H., Clin. Sci., 4, 47 (1939).

  4. 4

    McDowall, R. J. S., J. Physiol., 101, 6P (1942).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.