Surface Electromyography for Speech and Swallowing Systems: Measurement, Analysis, and Interpretation PurposeApplying surface electromyography (sEMG) to the study of voice, speech, and swallowing is becoming increasingly popular. An improved understanding of sEMG and building a consensus as to appropriate methodology will improve future research and clinical applications.MethodAn updated review of the theory behind recording sEMG for the speech and swallowing systems ... Tutorial
Tutorial  |   August 01, 2012
Surface Electromyography for Speech and Swallowing Systems: Measurement, Analysis, and Interpretation
 
Author Notes
  • Correspondence to Cara E. Stepp: cstepp@bu.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Anne Smith
    Editor and Associate Editor: Anne Smith×
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Tutorial   |   August 01, 2012
Surface Electromyography for Speech and Swallowing Systems: Measurement, Analysis, and Interpretation
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2012, Vol. 55, 1232-1246. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0214)
History: Received August 7, 2011 , Accepted December 16, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2012, Vol. 55, 1232-1246. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0214)
History: Received August 7, 2011; Accepted December 16, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 25

PurposeApplying surface electromyography (sEMG) to the study of voice, speech, and swallowing is becoming increasingly popular. An improved understanding of sEMG and building a consensus as to appropriate methodology will improve future research and clinical applications.

MethodAn updated review of the theory behind recording sEMG for the speech and swallowing systems is provided. Several factors that are known to affect the content of the sEMG signal are discussed, and practical guidelines for sEMG recording and analysis are presented, focusing on special considerations within the context of the speech and swallowing anatomy.

ResultsUnique challenges are seen in application of sEMG to the speech and swallowing musculature owing to the small size of the muscles in relation to the sEMG detection volume and the present lack of knowledge about innervation zone locations.

ConclusionsDespite the challenges discussed, application of sEMG to speech and swallowing has potential as a clinical and research tool when used correctly and is specifically suited to noninvasive clinical studies using between-condition or between-group comparisons for which detection of specific isolated muscle activities is not necessary.

Acknowledgment
The author thanks Eric Larson, Deanna Britton, and Mark Malhotra for their helpful comments.
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