Analysis of 3-D tongue motion from tagged and cine magnetic resonance images

Fangxu Xing, Jonghye Woo, Junghoon Lee, Emi Z. Murano, Maureen Stone, Jerry L. Prince

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: Measuring tongue deformation and internal muscle motion during speech has been a challenging task because the tongue deforms in 3 dimensions, contains interdigitated muscles, and is largely hidden within the vocal tract. In this article, a new method is proposed to analyze tagged and cine magnetic resonance images of the tongue during speech in order to estimate 3-dimensional tissue displacement and deformation over time. Method: The method involves computing 2-dimensional motion components using a standard tag-processing method called harmonic phase, constructing superresolution tongue volumes using cine magnetic resonance images, segmenting the tongue region using a random-walker algorithm, and estimating 3-dimensional tongue motion using an incompressible deformation estimation algorithm. Results: Evaluation of the method is presented with a control group and a group of people who had received a glossectomy carrying out a speech task. A 2-step principal-components analysis is then used to reveal the unique motion patterns of the subjects. Azimuth motion angles and motion on the mirrored hemi-tongues are analyzed. Conclusion: Tests of the method with a various collection of subjects show its capability of capturing patient motion patterns and indicate its potential value in future speech studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-479
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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