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The Influence Of Taste On Swallowing Apnea, Oral Preparation Time, And Duration And Amplitude Of Submental Muscle Contraction.

L. P. Leow, M-L Huckabee, S. Sharma, T. P. Tooley
Published 2007 · Psychology, Medicine

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Prior research has documented a modulating effect of taste on swallowing. We hypothesized that presentation of tastant stimuli would be a significant variable in swallowing-respiratory coordination, duration of oral bolus preparation, and submental muscle contraction. Twenty-three healthy females were presented with 1-cm(3) gelatin samples flavored with 4 tastants of increasing intensities. Visual analogue scale ratings of perceived intensity of each were used to identify relative equivalent concentrations across the 4 tastants. Data were then collected during ingestion of 5 trials of the 4 equivalent tastants using measurements of nasal airflow and submental surface electromyography (sEMG) to record biomechanical measures. Chi-square analysis failed to identify a statistically significant influence of taste on the phase location of swallowing apnea. Repeated measures analysis of variance demonstrated significant taste effects for oral preparation time, submental sEMG amplitude, and duration (P < 0.02). Sweet tastants were prepared for a shorter time when compared with bitter tastants. Swallow duration for sour, salty, and bitter tastants were longer than sweet and neutral tastants. Sour tastants resulted in the greatest amplitude of submental muscle contraction during swallowing. This study supports existing research that found that sour substances were swallowed with more effort when compared with other tastes.
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