The swallowing lab conducts basic studies of swallowing function, focusing particularly on the role of the tongue in swallowing.
These began with studies of tongue movement in swallowing, measured using an electromagnetic movement tracking system. Theys led to questions regarding the functional consequences of tongue movement in swallowing, and studies of the pressure patterns that arise during swallowing.
Most recently, Dr. Steele’s work on tongue pressure has led to questions regarding the role that tongue pressure capacity might play in an individual’s sensory ability to measure the flow properties of liquids in the mouth, and detect small differences in viscosity. This function is critical for swallowing safety, and is the current focus of a grant from the NIH.