The effects of taste and consistency on swallow physiology in younger and older healthy individuals: A surface electromyographic study

Ruiying Ding*, Jeri A. Logemann, Charles R. Larson, Alfred W. Rademaker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent studies done on healthy older individuals have demonstrated elevated taste thresholds for sweet, sour, and salty taste. At suprathreshold levels, such individuals have also shown less ability to discriminate between different intensities of the same tastant. This study was designed to provide information on swallow timing and muscle contraction intensity variables in healthy older people during swallowing of liquid and cottage cheese consistencies in 3 taste conditions (sweet, salty, and sour). Taste and consistency were incorporated in the design of this study to determine not only the effect of taste and consistency independently, but also the effects of taste and consistency in combination. Surface electromyography (EMG) at 3 sites - the orbicularis oris inferior region, submental muscle region, and infrahyoid muscle region - were included in the study. Results revealed that the start of submental muscle activation was significantly later in older participants than in younger participants. The 3 taste conditions had higher EMG levels and shorter activation times than the no-taste condition, although different taste conditions and different muscle sites were affected differently. With thicker consistency, substantially increased EMG amplitude and duration were noted for all three sites. A more pronounced effect of taste was manifested as earlier submental or infrahyoid muscle activation when the three tastants were added to a thicker consistency. Interaction of taste, consistency, and age was also noted for onset time at the submental and infrahyoid sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)977-989
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003

Keywords

  • Consistency
  • Electromyography
  • Healthy older adults
  • Swallowing
  • Taste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of taste and consistency on swallow physiology in younger and older healthy individuals: A surface electromyographic study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this