Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Preferred Name - First Author

Rinehart, Rachel

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders


Erin Kamarunas


The clinical efficacy of swallowing exercises is well established in swallowing literature, and biofeedback has been shown to augment cortical hemodynamic response (HDR) during normal swallowing. This study compared HDR during swallowing exercises with and without biofeedback to HDR during normal swallows with and without biofeedback. Healthy adult participants (n=6, mean age=50.83 male=2) were recruited and trained on the following conditions: normal swallowing, swallowing exercise in which a specific physiological target was given (skilled), and swallowing exercises in which no specific physiological target had to be achieved (non-skilled). Biofeedback consisted of submental surface electromyography (sEMG) signals displayed visually. HDR were recorded using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Significantly increased early HDR amplitude in the biofeedback conditions was observed only in the cortical sensory areas (pp=.07 and p=.61, respectively). There was a significant difference between the HDR of normal swallows and skilled swallow exercises (pp=.07). However, there was not a significant difference between the two exercise types, (p=.72). Our findings indicate that visual biofeedback and skilled swallowing exercises increase the cortical HDR compared to normal swallowing.

Available for download on Saturday, December 01, 2018