Viscosity effects on EMG activity in normal swallow

Lynn Reimers-Neils, Jerilyn Logemann*, Charles Larson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


This study investigated the effects of six consistencies on measures of swallow duration, muscle activity, and sound. Electromyographic (EMG) recordings of the submental and infrahyoid muscle complexes, and audio recordings of neck sounds were made while 5 normal subjects swallowed two foods in each of three consistency categories: liquid, thin paste, and thick paste. Total swallow duration, measured from EMG, increased significantly across consistency categories from liquids to thin pastes to thick pastes. Liquids and thin pastes were significantly different from thick pastes on all but one EMG measure. However, liquids and thin pastes failed to reach significance on any of the EMG measures. EMG activity in the submental muscles most often initiated the swallow whereas the infrahyoid muscle activity most frequently terminated the swallow. A sound spike occurred at relatively the same time in each swallow. Results are discussed in terms of systematic modulations of muscle activity during swallow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-106
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1994


  • Acoustic recordings
  • Bolus viscosity
  • Deglutition
  • Deglutition disorders
  • Electromyography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Speech and Hearing


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