Muscle Interaction and Jaw Kinematics that Accompany Mastication in Humans
Burnett, Janice M.
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Mastication is a complicated and highly stabilized process that allows humans to begin breaking down whole foods. As food consistencies change aspect of mastication are adjusted to compensate for changes in food. Understanding how muscles are adapting to the changing food consistencies will lead to improvement in our chewing efficiency. A combination of infrared video recording and electromyographic (EMG) muscle activity in the temporalis and masseter was measured in forty subjects (22 males and 18 female). Each subject completed a series of 12 trials, chewing six different foods (Gummy bears, nuts, carrots, apples, apple skin and raisins) on both the left and right side; while muscle activity was being recorded. Each EMG file went through a series of filtration and positive rectification and ten variables were extracted to determine what variables change as different types of foods are chewed. A convergence of all food types was found when examining burst duration, onset latency and chew period for all muscles. This suggests that as a given food is broken down via a feedback mechanism with mechanical receptors the brain is able to respond to the changes in consistency very rapidly. Understanding how muscle activity is altered during mastication will develop a better understanding of how food intake and mastication efficiency are related.