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Unpublished paper, 'On the muscles which open the Eustachian tube [auditory tube]' by Joseph Toynbee

Reference number: AP/35/5

Date: 1853


Toynbee begins by examining the opinion generally held by anatomists, that the guttural orifice of the Eustachian tube is always open, and that the air in the tympanum is constantly continuous with that in the cavity of the fauces. An examination of the guttural orifice of the tube in man and other animals has led Toynbee to conclude, that, except during muscular action, this orifice is always closed, and that the tympanum forms a cavity distinct and isolated from the outer air. The muscles which open the Eustachian tube in man are the tensor and levator palati, and it is by their action during the process of deglutition that the tubes are ordinarily opened.

Subject: Anatomy / Physiology

Received 2 February 1853.

Whilst the Royal Society declined to publish this paper in full, an abstract of the paper was published in volume 6 of Abstracts of the Papers Printed in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London [later Proceedings of the Royal Society] as 'On the muscles which open the eustachian tube'.

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Joseph Toynbee

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Joseph Toynbee, Unpublished paper, 'On the muscles which open the Eustachian tube [auditory tube]' by Joseph Toynbee, 1853, AP/35/5, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 19 June 2024

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    Dates: 1768-1989

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