Tongue thrust, Brass instrument players, Real-time (cine) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)


This study uses real-time (cine) MRI to examine how orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs) affect muscle function during speech and horn playing. Dynamic MRI images were captured of an OMD subject and control subjects reciting a speech task and sustaining a note on an MRI-compatible horn. A following visual feedback session allowed the OMD subject to view and react to their (cine) MRI next to the image of an elite subject. Profile lines created in MATLAB allowed analysis of muscle function and changes in oral cavitation between the OMD and control subjects. In both the speech and horn films, the OMD subject consistently utilized maladaptive muscle movements, resulting in low and forward tongue position against the front teeth. Both control subjects had tongue placement free of the front teeth, and the horn control subject could elevate the tongue to narrow the air stream and play higher pitches. The MRI films suggest a connection between speech disorders and compromised horn-playing technique. OMDs limit the ability of the tongue to make the changes in oral cavitation used to play different pitches on the horn.