Patterns of tongue and jaw movement in a cinefluorographic study of feeding in the macaque

Arch Oral Biol. 1995 Mar;40(3):229-46. doi: 10.1016/0003-9969(95)98812-d.


Tongue movements in three female Macaca fascicularis, with radio-opaque markers in the tongue, teeth and hyoid, feeding on apple, banana and monkey chow, were recorded using lateral projection cineradiography (+/- 100 f.p.s.) with synchronized frontal view cinephotography (50 f.p.s.). Marker positions were digitized and the resultant Cartesian coordinates manipulated: (a) to establish the gape time profile; (b) anteroposterior and dorsoventral movements of tongue and hyoid markers relative to an upper occlusal/palatal reference plane; and (c) expansion and contraction of tongue segments in selected sections of complete sequences. The relative timing of tongue and jaw movement events was established using interval analysis. In simple transport cycles (semisolid food), all parts of the tongue moved in synchrony, travelling forwards and expanding during early opening, and backwards and contracting during late opening and closing. In contrast, in simple chewing cycles with a power stroke (SC phase): (a) the tongue markers reached their most backward position before or at the beginning of the SC phase, travelling forwards until the teeth approached intercuspation, then paused until after the teeth had reached centric occlusion; (b) the markers moved asynchronously, so that the relation between each marker and jaw movement changed; (c) expansion and contraction was largely confined to the middle tongue segment. In complex chewing cycles, jaw movement in opening was linked to the behaviour of the anterior tongue segment: reversal from forward to backward movement of the anterior tongue marker occurred within 30 ms of the rate change at the SO (slow open)-FO (fast open) transition: the greater the amplitude of forward movement, the longer the SO phase/Hyoid (tongue base) movement occurred throughout masticatory sequences. A backward drift of the hyoid and posterior part of the tongue occurred in cycles preceding swallows. Linkages between tongue and jaw movements in feeding in macaques are more complex than those reported for non-primate mammals, as they change between successive jaw cycles. The changes observed during sequences, and between different foods, suggest that the effector systems involved are continuously modulated, and the jaw-movement profile during opening may be dependent on the pattern of tongue movement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cineradiography
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Food
  • Hyoid Bone / physiology
  • Jaw / physiology*
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Mastication / physiology*
  • Movement
  • Neck Muscles / physiology
  • Tongue / physiology*