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ERIC Number: EJ1072355
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Aug
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
A Computational Model Quantifies the Effect of Anatomical Variability on Velopharyngeal Function
Inouye, Joshua M.; Perry, Jamie L.; Lin, Kant Y.; Blemker, Silvia S.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v58 n4 p1119-1133 Aug 2015
Purpose: This study predicted the effects of velopharyngeal (VP) anatomical parameters on VP function to provide a greater understanding of speech mechanics and aid in the treatment of speech disorders. Method: We created a computational model of the VP mechanism using dimensions obtained from magnetic resonance imaging measurements of 10 healthy adults. The model components included the levator veli palatini (LVP), the velum, and the posterior pharyngeal wall, and the simulations were based on material parameters from the literature. The outcome metrics were the VP closure force and LVP muscle activation required to achieve VP closure. Results: Our average model compared favorably with experimental data from the literature. Simulations of 1,000 random anatomies reflected the large variability in closure forces observed experimentally. VP distance had the greatest effect on both outcome metrics when considering the observed anatomic variability. Other anatomical parameters were ranked by their predicted influences on the outcome metrics. Conclusions: Our results support the implication that interventions for VP dysfunction that decrease anterior to posterior VP portal distance, increase velar length, and/or increase LVP cross-sectional area may be very effective. Future modeling studies will help to further our understanding of speech mechanics and optimize treatment of speech disorders.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1R03DC009676-01A1