EMG Recording in Human Lip Muscles Can Single Muscles Be Isolated? Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1986
EMG Recording in Human Lip Muscles
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Claudia Blair
    University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Anne Smith
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1986
EMG Recording in Human Lip Muscles
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1986, Vol. 29, 256-266. doi:10.1044/jshr.2902.256
History: Received June 17, 1985 , Accepted November 4, 1985
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1986, Vol. 29, 256-266. doi:10.1044/jshr.2902.256
History: Received June 17, 1985; Accepted November 4, 1985

Electromyography, recording the electrical activity of muscles, is an electrophysiological method that has been used widely in the study of movement performance by human subjects. Borrowing from the tradition of electromyographic studies of limb muscles, investigators interested in speech production have used the method to address many important experimental questions. Unfortunately, data recorded from craniofacial muscles generally have been discussed without reference to problems of interpretation that could arise due to the unique anatomical features of the muscles, particularly the lip muscles. Anatomical data show that the fibers of different muscles of the lips are interdigitated so that fibers with differing spatial orientation typically are found within a small section of lower lip tissue. The anatomical data are consistent with results of physiological studies of the lower lip muscles that have suggested that motor units with different physiological characteristics are found within a single recording site. Together, the anatomical and electrophysiological data suggest that, even with intramuscular electrodes, the probability of recording from a single muscle of the lip in isolation is extremely low. The fact that the activity of more than one muscle is likely to be sampled critically determines the nature of the conclusions that can be drawn from the data.

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