Anatomical and physiological variation of the hyoid musculature during swallowing in infant pigs

Christopher J. Mayerl, Kendall E. Steer, Almasi M. Chava, Laura E. Bond, Chloe E. Edmonds, Francois D.H. Gould, Tobin L. Hieronymous, Christopher J. Vinyard, Rebecca Z. German

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The function of a muscle is impacted by its line of action, activity timing and contractile characteristics when active, all of which have the potential to vary within a behavior. One function of the hyoid musculature is to move the hyoid bone during swallowing, yet we have little insight into how their lines of action and contractile characteristics might change during a swallow. We used an infant pig model to quantify the contractile characteristics of four hyoid muscles during a swallow using synchronized electromyography, fluoromicrometry and high-speed biplanar videofluoroscopy. We also estimated muscle line of action during a swallow using contrast-enhanced CT-scanned muscles animated to move with the hyoid bone and found that as the hyoid elevated, the line of action of the muscles attached to it became greater in depression. We also found that muscles acted eccentrically and concentrically, which was correlated with hyoid movement. This work contributes to our understanding of how the musculature powering feeding functions during swallowing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberjeb243075
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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