Coordination of oral cavity and laryngeal movements during swallowing

T. Gay, J. K. Rendell, J. Spiro, K. Mosier, A. G. Lurie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


In this study, dynamic imaging was used to track the movements of oral cavity and laryngeal structures during swallowing in 10 normal adult subjects. The movements of tiny lead pellet markers attached to the lips, tongue, mandible, and soft palate, as well as anatomic landmarks on the hyoid bone, were measured in relation to a reference pellet affixed to the upper central incisors. Sagittal views of the oral cavity were obtained using standard videofluorography. Each subject produced 10 swallows of 12 ml of tap water followed by 5 swallows with a bite block placed between the molars. The recorded video images were input to a microcomputer where the x- and y- coordinates of the pellets were measured. Results of the analyses revealed considerable temporal overlap in the timing of oral cavity and laryngeal movements, widespread individual variability in coordination patterns and movement trajectories, and selective effects of the bite block. These data suggest the existence of individual adaptive strategies in the programming and control of swallowing movements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-365
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994


  • motor control
  • videofluorography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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