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Carol A. Boliek, Reyhaneh Bakhtiari, Lauren Pedersen, Julia R. Esch, and Jacqueline Cummine

We examined whether or not coherence between chest wall intercostal and oblique muscles changed as a function of lung volume excursion, alveolar pressure, and muscular demand. We also assessed the effects of acute expiratory threshold loading (ETL) on chest wall muscular control. A total of 15 healthy adults (7 males; average age = 28 years) completed maximum performance and ETL tasks. Chest wall surface electromyographic and kinematic recordings were made. Participants also performed a session of acute ETL. We showed that corticomuscular control of the chest wall varied as a function of lung volume excursion and muscular effort. Acute ETL had some effect on respiratory kinematics but not coherence.

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Alesha Reed, Jacqueline Cummine, Neesha Bhat, Shivraj Jhala, Reyhaneh Bakhtiari, and Carol A. Boliek

Purpose: The authors evaluated changes in intermuscular coherence (IMC) of orofacial and speech breathing muscles across phase of speech production in healthy younger and older adults. Method: Sixty adults (30 younger = M: 26.97 year; 30 older = M: 66.37 year) read aloud a list of 40 words. IMC was evaluated across phase: preparation (300 ms before speech onset), initiation (300 ms after onset), and total execution (entire word). Results: Orofacial IMC was lowest in the initiation, higher in preparation, and highest for the total execution phase. Chest wall IMC was lowest for the preparation and initiation and highest for the total execution phase. Despite age-related differences in accuracy, neuromuscular modulation for phase was similar between groups. Conclusion: These results expand our knowledge of speech motor control by demonstrating that IMC is sensitive to phase of speech planning and production.