Perioral Muscle Activity in Young and Older Adults During Speech and Nonspeech Tasks Correlations of EMG activity among paired sites surrounding the lips were examined as a measure of muscle coupling during oral movements. Twenty-two young women (M=22 years old) and 22 older women (M=75 years old) performed lip protrusion, chewing, conversational speech, and reading aloud tasks. Surface EMG was recorded from the ... Research Article
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Research Article  |   August 01, 1996
Perioral Muscle Activity in Young and Older Adults During Speech and Nonspeech Tasks
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Amy B. Wohlert
    Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
  • Contact author: A. Wohlert, PhD, Department of Audiology & Speech Sciences, Purdue University, 1353 Heavilon Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907. E-mail: wohlert@sage.cc.purdue.edu
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1996
Perioral Muscle Activity in Young and Older Adults During Speech and Nonspeech Tasks
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1996, Vol. 39, 761-770. doi:10.1044/jshr.3904.761
History: Received November 27, 1995 , Accepted February 21, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1996, Vol. 39, 761-770. doi:10.1044/jshr.3904.761
History: Received November 27, 1995; Accepted February 21, 1996

Correlations of EMG activity among paired sites surrounding the lips were examined as a measure of muscle coupling during oral movements. Twenty-two young women (M=22 years old) and 22 older women (M=75 years old) performed lip protrusion, chewing, conversational speech, and reading aloud tasks. Surface EMG was recorded from the right and left sides of both the upper and lower lips during 20 s of task performance. Signals from each site, representing the sum of activity from muscle fibers present in the underlying tissue, were correlated with signals from every other site. Positive correlations were pervasive, but the range of values extended from .96 to -. 19. Correlation values tended to be high across the upper lip and across the lower lip, regardless of the task. Other sites (right side, left side, and diagonal pairs) were also highly correlated for the protrusion and chewing tasks, but were less highly correlated for the speech tasks. Younger women showed significantly lower correlation values for speech tasks than older women. Results imply an increase in muscle coupling for speech as an effect of the aging process, perhaps reflecting a reduction in flexibility of fine oral motor control. Limits of the correlation technique and issues concerning speech production ability in old age are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This work was funded by NIH/NIDCD grant #R03 DC01945-02 and by a Showalter Trust Award. The assistance of Goangshiuan Ying in computer programming and of Tisha Kauffman and Susannah Andre in testing participants and analyzing data is gratefully acknowledged.
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