Neuromuscular control of the tongue

Project: Research project

Grant Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This application outlines a plan to conduct research examining the respiratory-related neuromuscular control of the tongue. The plan proposes a series of experiments to be conducted in human subjects that will examine the modulation of human hypoglossal motor unit activities as a function of sleep and wakefulness, in response to respiratory-related sensory stimuli and during volitional movement. These experiments will provide insights into the nervous system (efferent and afferent components) control of the tongue muscles in healthy human subjects that will have implications for the neural control of movement in the broadest sense. The application includes a plan for the acquisition of new theoretical knowledge in cell physiology, systems neurobiology, sleep physiology and practical skills in human neurophysiology, polysomnography and sleep staging. The plan has tremendous potential and will provide the foundation for future studies of lingual motor control in upper airway muscles during more complex oromotor functions such as swallowing. Additional training is needed by the candidate to achieve this potential since the human neurophysiological, polysomnography, sleep state assessment and data analysis techniques are all new to her. The training proposed in this application will extend and develop upon the candidate's previous research experience studying the respiratory-related control of tongue muscle activities in the spontaneously breathing anesthetized rat. The candidate will work with a select group of highly talented co-mentors who will provide expertise in respiratory physiology, sleep and sleep disorders, neurophysiology and motor control. The candidate proposes to conduct all research at the University of Arizona, which offers state of the art facilities for the study of respiratory, sleep and neurophysiology in human subjects and offers advanced courses in cell biology, systems neurobiology, sleep and sleep disorders. Receipt of this award will enable the candidate to go on to develop an independent research program that combines behavioral and neurophysiological approaches to study lingual neuromuscular control in human and lower mammalian model systems.
Effective start/end date7/1/059/30/11


  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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