The effects of mechanical and noxious stimulation of the palatal and lingual surfaces on the activity of the extrinsic and intrinsic tongue muscles have been studied in cats. Stimulation of the hard palate produced mainly activation of extrinsic tongue muscles while inhibition was elicited by stimulating the soft palate. Longlasting pressure on the hard palate caused rhythmic tongue flapping by intermittent genioglossal activity. The intrinsic tongue muscles, m. transversus and m. verticalis, were activated by noxious stimuli applied to the hard palate, the effects apparently being mediated by high-threshold afferents. Mechanical and noxious stimulation applied to the dorsal and ventral lingual surfaces of the tongue either activated or inhibited the extrinsic tongue muscles depending on the reflex area stimulated. The intrinsic tongue muscles were activated by noxious stimuli applied to the tongue surfaces. The anastomoses running between the hypoglossal and lingual nerves were found to mediate mainly nociceptive afferent impulses traveling from the hypoglossal to the lingual nerve. The intrinsic muscles were found to be controlled by anastomosal nociceptive afferents.