Lingual Action in Normal Sequential Swallowing Current knowledge about the flexibility in lingual motor control and performance during swallowing is incomplete. The present study aimed at gaining a better understanding of the tongue's motor flexibility and at identifying variable versus invariant lingual motor program parameters in light of changing swallowing task demands (discrete vs. sequential). Specifically, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1998
Lingual Action in Normal Sequential Swallowing
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gloria Chi-Fishman
    Vocal Tract Visualization Laboratory Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
  • Maureen Stone
    Vocal Tract Visualization Laboratory Division of Otolaryngology Department of Surgery University of Maryland Medical School Baltimore, MD
  • Gerald N. McCall
    Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences University of Maryland at College Park
  • Contact author: Gloria Chi-Fishman, PhD, Room 6S235, Building 10, CC-RMD-SLP, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892. E-mail: gcf@nih.gov
  • Gloria Chi-Fishman is currently affiliated with the Speech-Language Pathology Section, Rehabilitation Medicine Department, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
    Gloria Chi-Fishman is currently affiliated with the Speech-Language Pathology Section, Rehabilitation Medicine Department, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.×
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1998
Lingual Action in Normal Sequential Swallowing
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1998, Vol. 41, 771-785. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4104.771
History: Received June 26, 1997 , Accepted April 13, 1998
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1998, Vol. 41, 771-785. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4104.771
History: Received June 26, 1997; Accepted April 13, 1998

Current knowledge about the flexibility in lingual motor control and performance during swallowing is incomplete. The present study aimed at gaining a better understanding of the tongue's motor flexibility and at identifying variable versus invariant lingual motor program parameters in light of changing swallowing task demands (discrete vs. sequential). Specifically, the timing and patterns of tonguepalate contact and the associated changes in tongue shape and action were examined in 5 normal adults using simultaneous electropalatography and ultrasound. Tasks for discrete swallowing included 5 and 30 cc of water; tasks for sequential swallowing involved drinking 200 cc of water at normal and fast rates. Results showed little variation in propulsive contact pattern as a function of task or subject. However, the tongue demonstrated shorter movement duration and overlapping gestures during sequential swallowing. Thus, continuous drinking was performed without changes in motor strategies per se but with changes in the timing coordination of the "drink" and "swallow" action sequences. These findings support the theory that the deglutitive lingual motor program has both invariant and variant parameters, and that movement pattern and action sequence reflect fixed elements within the structure of the motor program, but movement timing can be modified according to the demands of the task at hand.

Acknowledgments
We are grateful to Andrew Lundberg for his assistance during the experiments; to Dr. Paul J. Smith for statistical consultations; to Edward Davis for the time-warping software; to John Crump, Michael Mulleady, and Rich Sico of the Kay Elemetrics Corporation for their support with the Palatometer system; to Robert DeJong and the Johns Hopkins University Hospital for the ultrasound equipment; and to the Department of Linguistics, University of California at Los Angeles, for providing the percent contact computation program written by Andrew Mueller. This work was part of a dissertation research supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and the Kay Elemetrics Corporation.
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