The Development of Swallowing Respiratory Coordination Research exists that evaluates the mechanics of swallowing respiratory coordination in healthy children and adults as well and individuals with swallowing impairment. The research program summarized in this article represents a systematic examination of swallowing respiratory coordination across the lifespan as a means of behaviorally investigating mechanisms of cortical modulation. ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 2009
The Development of Swallowing Respiratory Coordination
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Maggie-Lee Huckabee
    The Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Laboratory at The Van der Veer Institute, The Department of Communication Disorders, The University of CanterburyChristchurch, New Zealand
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Articles
Article   |   March 01, 2009
The Development of Swallowing Respiratory Coordination
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), March 2009, Vol. 18, 19-24. doi:10.1044/sasd18.1.19
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), March 2009, Vol. 18, 19-24. doi:10.1044/sasd18.1.19
Abstract

Research exists that evaluates the mechanics of swallowing respiratory coordination in healthy children and adults as well and individuals with swallowing impairment. The research program summarized in this article represents a systematic examination of swallowing respiratory coordination across the lifespan as a means of behaviorally investigating mechanisms of cortical modulation. Using time-locked recordings of submental surface electromyography, nasal airflow, and thyroid acoustics, three conditions of swallowing were evaluated in 20 adults in a single session and 10 infants in 10 sessions across the first year of life. The three swallowing conditions were selected to represent a continuum of volitional through nonvolitional swallowing control on the basis of a decreasing level of cortical activation. Our primary finding is that, across the lifespan, brainstem control strongly dictates the duration of swallowing apnea and is heavily involved in organizing the integration of swallowing and respiration, even in very early infancy. However, there is evidence that cortical modulation increases across the first 12 months of life to approximate more adult-like patterns of behavior. This modulation influences primarily conditions of volitional swallowing; sleep and naïve swallows appear to not be easily adapted by cortical regulation. Thus, it is attention, not arousal that engages cortical mechanisms.

Acknowledgment
The author of this summary extends great kudos to Bronwen Kelly for her commitment to this work.
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