Vibrissae: Stiff hairs projecting from the face around the nose of most mammals, acting as touch receptors.Somatosensory Cortex: Area of the parietal lobe concerned with receiving sensations such as movement, pain, pressure, position, temperature, touch, and vibration. It lies posterior to the central sulcus.Touch: Sensation of making physical contact with objects, animate or inanimate. Tactile stimuli are detected by MECHANORECEPTORS in the skin and mucous membranes.Physical Stimulation: Act of eliciting a response from a person or organism through physical contact.Pinnipedia: The suborder of aquatic CARNIVORA comprising the WALRUSES; FUR SEALS; SEA LIONS; and EARLESS SEALS. They have fusiform bodies with very short tails and are found on all sea coasts. The offspring are born on land.Facial Muscles: Muscles of facial expression or mimetic muscles that include the numerous muscles supplied by the facial nerve that are attached to and move the skin of the face. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Touch Perception: The process by which the nature and meaning of tactile stimuli are recognized and interpreted by the brain, such as realizing the characteristics or name of an object being touched.Hair: A filament-like structure consisting of a shaft which projects to the surface of the SKIN from a root which is softer than the shaft and lodges in the cavity of a HAIR FOLLICLE. It is found on most surfaces of the body.Trigeminal Nuclei: Nuclei of the trigeminal nerve situated in the brain stem. They include the nucleus of the spinal trigeminal tract (TRIGEMINAL NUCLEUS, SPINAL), the principal sensory nucleus, the mesencephalic nucleus, and the motor nucleus.Trigeminal Nerve: The 5th and largest cranial nerve. The trigeminal nerve is a mixed motor and sensory nerve. The larger sensory part forms the ophthalmic, mandibular, and maxillary nerves which carry afferents sensitive to external or internal stimuli from the skin, muscles, and joints of the face and mouth and from the teeth. Most of these fibers originate from cells of the TRIGEMINAL GANGLION and project to the TRIGEMINAL NUCLEUS of the brain stem. The smaller motor part arises from the brain stem trigeminal motor nucleus and innervates the muscles of mastication.Afferent Pathways: Nerve structures through which impulses are conducted from a peripheral part toward a nerve center.Hair Follicle: A tube-like invagination of the EPIDERMIS from which the hair shaft develops and into which SEBACEOUS GLANDS open. The hair follicle is lined by a cellular inner and outer root sheath of epidermal origin and is invested with a fibrous sheath derived from the dermis. (Stedman, 26th ed) Follicles of very long hairs extend into the subcutaneous layer of tissue under the SKIN.Rats, Long-Evans: An outbred strain of rats developed in 1915 by crossing several Wistar Institute white females with a wild gray male. Inbred strains have been derived from this original outbred strain, including Long-Evans cinnamon rats (RATS, INBRED LEC) and Otsuka-Long-Evans-Tokushima Fatty rats (RATS, INBRED OLETF), which are models for Wilson's disease and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, respectively.Seals, Earless: The family Phocidae, suborder PINNIPEDIA, order CARNIVORA, comprising the true seals. They lack external ears and are unable to use their hind flippers to walk. It includes over 18 species including the harp seal, probably the best known seal species in the world.Facial Nerve: The 7th cranial nerve. The facial nerve has two parts, the larger motor root which may be called the facial nerve proper, and the smaller intermediate or sensory root. Together they provide efferent innervation to the muscles of facial expression and to the lacrimal and SALIVARY GLANDS, and convey afferent information for TASTE from the anterior two-thirds of the TONGUE and for TOUCH from the EXTERNAL EAR.Exploratory Behavior: The tendency to explore or investigate a novel environment. It is considered a motivation not clearly distinguishable from curiosity.Maxillary Nerve: The intermediate sensory division of the trigeminal (5th cranial) nerve. The maxillary nerve carries general afferents from the intermediate region of the face including the lower eyelid, nose and upper lip, the maxillary teeth, and parts of the dura.Ventral Thalamic Nuclei: A large group of nuclei lying between the internal medullary lamina and the INTERNAL CAPSULE. It includes the ventral anterior, ventral lateral, and ventral posterior nuclei.Phoca: A genus in the family of EARLESS SEALS (Phocidae) and collectively the most abundant PINNIPEDS in the Northern Hemisphere.Periodicity: The tendency of a phenomenon to recur at regular intervals; in biological systems, the recurrence of certain activities (including hormonal, cellular, neural) may be annual, seasonal, monthly, daily, or more frequently (ultradian).Mechanoreceptors: Cells specialized to transduce mechanical stimuli and relay that information centrally in the nervous system. Mechanoreceptor cells include the INNER EAR hair cells, which mediate hearing and balance, and the various somatosensory receptors, often with non-neural accessory structures.Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum: An inherited disorder of connective tissue with extensive degeneration and calcification of ELASTIC TISSUE primarily in the skin, eye, and vasculature. At least two forms exist, autosomal recessive and autosomal dominant. This disorder is caused by mutations of one of the ATP-BINDING CASSETTE TRANSPORTERS. Patients are predisposed to MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION and GASTROINTESTINAL HEMORRHAGE.Movement: The act, process, or result of passing from one place or position to another. It differs from LOCOMOTION in that locomotion is restricted to the passing of the whole body from one place to another, while movement encompasses both locomotion but also a change of the position of the whole body or any of its parts. Movement may be used with reference to humans, vertebrate and invertebrate animals, and microorganisms. Differentiate also from MOTOR ACTIVITY, movement associated with behavior.Trigeminal Nucleus, Spinal: Nucleus of the spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve. It is divided cytoarchitectonically into three parts: oralis, caudalis (TRIGEMINAL CAUDAL NUCLEUS), and interpolaris.Motor Cortex: Area of the FRONTAL LOBE concerned with primary motor control located in the dorsal PRECENTRAL GYRUS immediately anterior to the central sulcus. It is comprised of three areas: the primary motor cortex located on the anterior paracentral lobule on the medial surface of the brain; the premotor cortex located anterior to the primary motor cortex; and the supplementary motor area located on the midline surface of the hemisphere anterior to the primary motor cortex.Vibration: A continuing periodic change in displacement with respect to a fixed reference. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory: The electric response evoked in the CEREBRAL CORTEX by stimulation along AFFERENT PATHWAYS from PERIPHERAL NERVES to CEREBRUM.Neurons, Afferent: Neurons which conduct NERVE IMPULSES to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Action Potentials: Abrupt changes in the membrane potential that sweep along the CELL MEMBRANE of excitable cells in response to excitation stimuli.Merkel Cells: Modified epidermal cells located in the stratum basale. They are found mostly in areas where sensory perception is acute, such as the fingertips. Merkel cells are closely associated with an expanded terminal bulb of an afferent myelinated nerve fiber. Do not confuse with Merkel's corpuscle which is a combination of a neuron and an epidermal cell.Reaction Time: The time from the onset of a stimulus until a response is observed.Nose: A part of the upper respiratory tract. It contains the organ of SMELL. The term includes the external nose, the nasal cavity, and the PARANASAL SINUSES.Neural Pathways: Neural tracts connecting one part of the nervous system with another.Behavior, Animal: The observable response an animal makes to any situation.Thalamus: Paired bodies containing mostly GRAY MATTER and forming part of the lateral wall of the THIRD VENTRICLE of the brain.Brain Mapping: Imaging techniques used to colocalize sites of brain functions or physiological activity with brain structures.Intralaminar Thalamic Nuclei: Cell groups within the internal medullary lamina of the THALAMUS. They include a rostral division comprising the paracentral, central lateral, central dorsal, and central medial nuclei, and a caudal division composed of the centromedian and parafascicular nuclei.Brain Stem: The part of the brain that connects the CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES with the SPINAL CORD. It consists of the MESENCEPHALON; PONS; and MEDULLA OBLONGATA.Electric Stimulation: Use of electric potential or currents to elicit biological responses.Electromyography: Recording of the changes in electric potential of muscle by means of surface or needle electrodes.Forelimb: A front limb of a quadruped. (The Random House College Dictionary, 1980)Myoclonus: Involuntary shock-like contractions, irregular in rhythm and amplitude, followed by relaxation, of a muscle or a group of muscles. This condition may be a feature of some CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DISEASES; (e.g., EPILEPSY, MYOCLONIC). Nocturnal myoclonus is the principal feature of the NOCTURNAL MYOCLONUS SYNDROME. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp102-3).Sensation: The process in which specialized SENSORY RECEPTOR CELLS transduce peripheral stimuli (physical or chemical) into NERVE IMPULSES which are then transmitted to the various sensory centers in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Superior Colliculi: The anterior pair of the quadrigeminal bodies which coordinate the general behavioral orienting responses to visual stimuli, such as whole-body turning, and reaching.Electrophysiology: The study of the generation and behavior of electrical charges in living organisms particularly the nervous system and the effects of electricity on living organisms.