Laryngeal activity during upright vs. supine swallowing

Julie M. Barkmeier, Steve Bielamowicz, Naoya Takeda, Christy L. Ludlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Previous investigations of human pharyngeal muscle activation patterns during swallowing found a relatively invariant muscle activation onset sequence in the upright position. However, different gravitational forces influence a liquid bolus when supine and could modify the central timing control of laryngeal airway protection during swallowing. The purpose of this study was to determine whether laryngeal muscle onset timing during swallowing differed between the supine and upright positions. Nine subjects performed six swallowing trials with a 2-ml water bolus in each position. Simultaneous electromyographic recordings were obtained from the submental complex (SMC) and the right and left thyroarytenoid (TA) muscles. Regardless of body position, the timing, amplitude, and duration of the TA muscles did not vary relative to the SMC. Therefore, the sequence of TA muscle activation relative to the SMC during swallowing appeared unaffected by gravitational influences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)740-745
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Central pattern generator
  • Larynx

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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