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Lingual Action In Normal Sequential Swallowing.
G. Chi-Fishman, M. Stone, G. McCall
Published 1998 · Medicine
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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 tongue-palate 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.
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