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J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2019 Jul 15;62(7):2258-2269. doi: 10.1044/2019_JSLHR-S-18-0495. Epub 2019 Jul 2.

Atlas-Based Tongue Muscle Correlation Analysis From Tagged and High-Resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

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Gordon Center for Medical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston.
Department of Neural and Pain Sciences, University of Maryland Dental School, Baltimore.
Department of Speech, Language and Swallowing, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.


Purpose Intrinsic and extrinsic tongue muscles in healthy and diseased populations vary both in their intra- and intersubject behaviors during speech. Identifying coordination patterns among various tongue muscles can provide insights into speech motor control and help in developing new therapeutic and rehabilitative strategies. Method We present a method to analyze multisubject tongue muscle correlation using motion patterns in speech sound production. Motion of muscles is captured using tagged magnetic resonance imaging and computed using a phase-based deformation extraction algorithm. After being assembled in a common atlas space, motions from multiple subjects are extracted at each individual muscle location based on a manually labeled mask using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging and a vocal tract atlas. Motion correlation between each muscle pair is computed within each labeled region. The analysis is performed on a population of 16 control subjects and 3 post-partial glossectomy patients. Results The floor-of-mouth (FOM) muscles show reduced correlation comparing to the internal tongue muscles. Patients present a higher amount of overall correlation between all muscles and exercise en bloc movements. Conclusions Correlation matrices in the atlas space show the coordination of tongue muscles in speech sound production. The FOM muscles are weakly correlated with the internal tongue muscles. Patients tend to use FOM muscles more than controls to compensate for their postsurgery function loss.

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