Reaching and grasping with the tongue: Shared motor planning between hand actions and articulatory gestures.

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Summary of "Reaching and grasping with the tongue: Shared motor planning between hand actions and articulatory gestures."

Research has shown connections between articulatory mouth actions and manual actions. This study investigates whether forward-backward hand movements could be associated with vowel production processes that programme tongue fronting/backing, lip rounding/spreading (Experiment 1), and/or consonant production processes that programme tongue tip and tongue dorsum actions (Experiment 2). The participants had to perform either forward or backward hand movement and simultaneously pronounce different vowels or consonants. The results revealed a response benefit, measured in vocal and manual reaction times, when the responses consisted of front vowels and forward hand movements. Conversely, back vowels were associated with backward hand movements. Articulation of rounded versus unrounded vowels or coronal versus dorsal consonants did not produce the effect. In contrast, when the manual responses of forward-backward hand movements were replaced by precision and power grip responses, the coronal consonants [t] and [r] were associated with the precision grip, whereas the dorsal consonant [k] was associated with the power grip. We propose that the movements of the tongue body, operating mainly for vowel production, share the directional action planning processes with the hand movements. Conversely, the tongue articulators related to tongue tip and dorsum movements, operating mainly for consonant production, share the action planning processes with the precision and power grip, respectively.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006)
ISSN: 1747-0226
Pages: 2129-2141


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A severe congenital restriction of TONGUE movement, resulting from fusion or adherence of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. In partial ankyloglossia (tongue-tie) the LINGUAL FRENUM is abnormally short, or is attached too close to the tip of the tongue. OMIM: 106280

The 12th cranial nerve. The hypoglossal nerve originates in the hypoglossal nucleus of the medulla and supplies motor innervation to all of the muscles of the tongue except the palatoglossus (which is supplied by the vagus). This nerve also contains proprioceptive afferents from the tongue muscles.

A motor neuron disease marked by progressive weakness of the muscles innervated by cranial nerves of the lower brain stem. Clinical manifestations include dysarthria, dysphagia, facial weakness, tongue weakness, and fasciculations of the tongue and facial muscles. The adult form of the disease is marked initially by bulbar weakness which progresses to involve motor neurons throughout the neuroaxis. Eventually this condition may become indistinguishable from AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS. Fazio-Londe syndrome is an inherited form of this illness which occurs in children and young adults. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1091; Brain 1992 Dec;115(Pt 6):1889-1900)

Diseases of the twelfth cranial (hypoglossal) nerve or nuclei. The nuclei and fascicles of the nerve are located in the medulla, and the nerve exits the skull via the hypoglossal foramen and innervates the muscles of the tongue. Lower brain stem diseases, including ischemia and MOTOR NEURON DISEASES may affect the nuclei or nerve fascicles. The nerve may also be injured by diseases of the posterior fossa or skull base. Clinical manifestations include unilateral weakness of tongue musculature and lingual dysarthria, with deviation of the tongue towards the side of weakness upon attempted protrusion.

A syndrome characterized by DYSARTHRIA, dysphagia, dysphonia, impairment of voluntary movements of tongue and facial muscles, and emotional lability. This condition is caused by diseases that affect the motor fibers that travel from the cerebral cortex to the lower BRAIN STEM (i.e., corticobulbar tracts); including MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS; MOTOR NEURON DISEASE; and CEREBROVASCULAR DISORDERS. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p489)

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