Task-dependent control of the jaw during food splitting in humans
2014 (English)In: Journal of Neurophysiology, ISSN 0022-3077, E-ISSN 1522-1598, Vol. 111, 2614-2623 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Although splitting of food items between the incisors often requires high bite forces, rarely do the teeth harmfully collide when the jaw quickly closes after split. Previous studies indicate that the force-velocity relationship of the jaw closing muscles principally explains the prompt dissipation of jaw closing force. Here, we asked whether people could regulate the dissipation of jaw closing force during food splitting. We hypothesized that such regulation might be implemented via differential recruitment of masseter muscle portions situated along the anteroposterior axis because these portions will experience a different shortening velocity during jaw closure. Study participants performed two different tasks when holding a peanut-half stacked on a chocolate piece between their incisors. In one task, they were asked to split the peanut-half only (single-split trials) and, in the other, to split both the peanut and the chocolate in one action (double-split trials). In double-split trials following the peanut split, the intensity of the tooth impact on the chocolate piece was on average 2.5 times greater than in single-split trials, indicating a substantially greater loss of jaw closing force in the single-split trials. We conclude that control of jaw closing force dissipation following food splitting depends on task demands. Consistent with our hypothesis, converging neurophysiological and morphometric data indicated that this control involved a differential activation of the jaw closing masseter muscle along the anteroposterior axis. These latter findings suggest that the regulation of jaw closing force after sudden unloading of the jaw exploits masseter muscle compartmentalization.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The American Physiological Society , 2014. Vol. 111, 2614-2623 p.
EMG, bite force, human, mastication, muscles
Research subject Physiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-91661DOI: 10.1152/jn.00797.2013ISI: 000339171700020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-91661DiVA: diva2:737626
FunderSwedish Research Council, 2011-3128