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Jaw Kinematics And Tongue Protraction-Retraction During Chewing And Drinking In The Pig

Rachel A. Olson, Stéphane J. Montuelle, Brad A. Chadwell, Hannah Curtis, Susan H. Williams

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ABSTRACTMastication and drinking are rhythmic and cyclic oral behaviors that require interactions between the tongue, jaw, and a food or liquid bolus, respectively. During mastication, the tongue transports and positions the bolus for breakdown between the teeth. During drinking, the tongue aids in ingestion and then transports the bolus to the oropharynx. The objective of this study is to compare jaw and tongue kinematics during chewing and drinking in pigs. We hypothesize there will be differences in jaw gape cycle dynamics and tongue protraction-retraction between behaviors. Mastication cycles had an extended slow-close phase, reflecting tooth-food-tooth contact, whereas drinking cycles had an extended slow-open phase, corresponding to tongue protrusion into the liquid. Drinking jaw movements were of lower magnitude for all degrees of freedom examined (jaw protraction, yaw, and pitch), and were bilaterally symmetrical with virtually no yaw. The magnitude of tongue protraction-retraction (Tx) was greater during mastication than drinking, but there were minimal differences in the timing of maximum and minimum tongue Tx relative to the jaw gape cycle between behaviors. However, during drinking, the tongue tip is often located outside the oral cavity for the entire cycle, leading to differences in behaviors in the timing of anterior marker maximum tongue Tx. This demonstrates that there is variation in tongue-jaw coordination between behaviors. These results show that jaw and tongue movements vary significantly between mastication and drinking, which hint at differences in the central control of these behaviors.Summary statementDifferences in the magnitude and timing of tongue and jaw movements and the anteroposterior positioning of the tongue during chewing and drinking demonstrate key differences in coordination of these behaviors.