Relating speech production to tongue muscle compressions using tagged and high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging

Fangxu Xing, Chuyang Ye, Jonghye Woo, Maureen Stone, Jerry Prince

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


The human tongue is composed of multiple internal muscles that work collaboratively during the production of speech. Assessment of muscle mechanics can help understand the creation of tongue motion, interpret clinical observations, and predict surgical outcomes. Although various methods have been proposed for computing the tongue"s motion, associating motion with muscle activity in an interdigitated fiber framework has not been studied. In this work, we aim to develop a method that reveals different tongue muscles" activities in different time phases during speech. We use fourdimensional tagged magnetic resonance (MR) images and static high-resolution MR images to obtain tongue motion and muscle anatomy, respectively. Then we compute strain tensors and local tissue compression along the muscle fiber directions in order to reveal their shortening pattern. This process relies on the support from multiple image analysis methods, including super-resolution volume reconstruction from MR image slices, segmentation of internal muscles, tracking the incompressible motion of tissue points using tagged images, propagation of muscle fiber directions over time, and calculation of strain in the line of action, etc. We evaluated the method on a control subject and two postglossectomy patients in a controlled speech task. The normal subject"s tongue muscle activity shows high correspondence with the production of speech in different time instants, while both patients" muscle activities show different patterns from the control due to their resected tongues. This method shows potential for relating overall tongue motion to particular muscle activity, which may provide novel information for future clinical and scientific studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2015
Subtitle of host publicationImage Processing
EditorsMartin A. Styner, Sebastien Ourselin
ISBN (Electronic)9781628415032
StatePublished - 2015
EventMedical Imaging 2015: Image Processing - Orlando, United States
Duration: Feb 24 2015Feb 26 2015

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2015: Image Processing
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • MRI
  • Speech
  • compression
  • fiber
  • motion
  • muscle
  • strain
  • tagged
  • tongue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biomaterials


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