The Relationship Between Proprioception and Respiration During Eating in Young Adults
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Swallowing is a neurologically centrally driven event; however, a variety of sensory factors (e.g., bolus volume) have been shown to influence swallow-related events (e.g., swallow apnea duration). External factors (e.g., proprioception) have been previously shown to influence preparatory swallow movements (e.g., mouth opening). Yet, it is not known whether these external factors may influence the more automatic components of swallowing. This study was designed to determine whether proprioception influences the onset of swallow apnea. Participants (N = 14, Mage = 25.71 years) were presented with bites/sips of applesauce and water during self and assisted feeding conditions. Results indicated that proprioception had no impact on the timing of swallow apnea onset, supporting that swallow apnea is a centrally driven event. By gaining a better understanding of the physiological impact assisted feeding has on individuals, we can best serve individuals who rely on feeding assistance and optimize swallow safety across all populations.