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Perspective on the human cough reflex

Overview of attention for article published in Cough, November 2011
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About this Attention Score

  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (56th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 tweeter
1 Facebook page


39 Dimensions

Readers on

72 Mendeley
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Perspective on the human cough reflex
Published in
Cough, November 2011
DOI 10.1186/1745-9974-7-10
Pubmed ID

Stuart M Brooks


This review dissects the complex human cough reflex and suggests hypotheses about the evolutionary basis for the reflex. A mechanosensory-induced cough reflex conveys through branches of myelinated Aδ nerve fibers is not chemically reactive (i.e., capsaicin, bradykinin); possibly, its evolution is to prevent the harmful effects of aspiration of gastric or particulate contents into the lungs. This became necessary as the larynx moves closer to the opening of the esophagus as human ancestors adapt phonation over olfaction beginning less than 10 million years ago. The second type of cough reflex, a chemosensory type, is carried by unmyelinated C fibers. Supposedly, its origin dates back when prehistoric humans began living in close proximity to each other and were at risk for infectious respiratory diseases or irritant-induced lung injury. The mechanism for the latter type of cough is analogous to induced pain after tissue injury; and, it is controlled by the identical transient receptor potential vanilloid cation channel (TRPV1). The airways do not normally manifest nociceptive pain from a stimulus but the only consistent response that capsaicin and lung inflammation provoke in healthy human airways is cough. TRPA1, another excitatory ion channel, has been referred to as the "irritant receptor" and its activation also induces cough. For both types of cough, the motor responses are identical and via coordinated, precisely-timed and sequential respiratory events orchestrated by complex neuromuscular networking of the diaphragm, chest and abdominal respiratory muscles, the glottis and parts of the brain.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profile of 1 tweeter who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 72 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Korea, Republic of 2 3%
United Kingdom 2 3%
Malaysia 1 1%
Brazil 1 1%
Unknown 66 92%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 12 17%
Student > Master 11 15%
Researcher 10 14%
Student > Ph. D. Student 10 14%
Other 7 10%
Other 15 21%
Unknown 7 10%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 31 43%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 18 25%
Engineering 3 4%
Arts and Humanities 2 3%
Neuroscience 2 3%
Other 6 8%
Unknown 10 14%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 29 March 2012.
All research outputs
of 3,616,992 outputs
Outputs from Cough
of 37 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 230,528 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cough
of 3 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 3,616,992 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 45th percentile – i.e., 45% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 37 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 2.4. This one scored the same or higher as 21 of them.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 230,528 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 56% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 3 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one.