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Cortical Regulation During The Early Stage Of Initiation Of Voluntary Swallowing

S. Abe, Y. Watanabe, M. Shintani, G. Yamane, Yoshinobu Ide, M. Shimono, Tatsuya Ishikawa
Published 2004 · Psychology

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Abstract The aim of the present study was to reveal the spatiotemporal relations among cortical regions involved in the initiation of voluntary swallowing in humans, using magnetoencephalography (MEG). The swallowing-related activity was distributed widely for 2000 ms before the electromyogram (EMG) onset of the right suprahyoid muscle. The cingulate cortex, the insula and the inferior frontal gyrus were the main loci active prior to swallowing. These cortical loci coincide with those suggested by previous human brain mapping studies that investigated the brain mechanism, which controls swallowing. Activation in the cingulate cortex was registered in the early stage of swallowing and could be related to the cognitive process regarding the food being safe to swallow. The activation in the insula lasted for a long period of time before the initiation of swallowing. This suggests that the long-lasting activation in the insula prior to swallowing is essential for the initiation of swallowing.
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