longissimus capitis muscle

[ lŏn-jĭsə-məs căpĭ-tĭs ]

n.

A muscle with origin from the upper thoracic vertebrae and the lower and middle cervical vertebrae, with insertion into the mastoid process, with nerve supply from the dorsal branches of the cervical nerves, and whose action keeps the head erect and draws it backward or to one side.

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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.