How Brain Signals Reveal Intricate Tongue Movements

Researchers used 3D x-ray videography and machine learning to study tongue movements during feeding in non-human primates.

The study recorded neural activity from the sensorimotor cortex and accurately decoded the 3D shape of the tongue.

The technology could also be beneficial for addressing dysphagia, a common problem among the elderly.

The study sheds light on the mechanics of fundamental behaviors such as eating, drinking, and communication.

The tongue's complex movements have been challenging to measure due to its hidden position within the mouth.

The tongue's soft tissue composition gives it almost limitless freedom of movement, unlike limbs constrained by bones and joints.

The research opens doors for developing techniques to stimulate appropriate muscle sets in patients with swallowing difficulties, improving their quality of life.