Effect of a repeated tongue-lift motor task for tongue function

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This study investigated the effect of repeated tongue motor tasks on suprahyoid muscle activity and tongue pressure. Fourteen participants performed three series of a standardized tongue-lift training (TLT) task on each of five consecutive days. Electromyographic (EMG) activity from suprahyoid muscles and tongue pressure were recorded. In the first and third TLT series, participants were instructed only to target different force levels. During the second TLT series, visual feedback of the force level was given. One series consisted of three measurements [at 10%, 20%, and 40% of maximum voluntary contraction (MVC), respectively]. The coefficient of determination of the target force level–EMG curve and the target force level–tongue pressure curve was calculated from all series. There were no statistically significant day-to-day differences in EMG-root mean square (RMS) values and tongue pressure during MVC. The coefficients of determination of tongue pressure in the first series on day 1 were statistically significantly lower than the coefficients of determination in the first series on day 5. These findings suggest that the control of tongue pressure improved, while the maximum force remained constant. These results could have implications for treatment paradigms related to learning for patients with compromised tongue function, such as swallowing disorders or dysphagia.

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