Acoustical Modeling of Swallowing Mechanism
In this paper, a mathematical modeling of the swallowing sound generation is presented. To evaluate the model, its application on swallowing disorder (dysphagia) diagnosis is discussed. As a starting point, a simple linear time invariant model is assumed to represent the pharyngeal wall and tissue excited by a train of impulses. The modeling is approached by two different assumptions. In one approach, it is assumed that the impulse train, representing the neural activities to trigger swallow, is the same for both groups of control and dysphagic, and it is the pharyngeal model that accounts for the difference between the two groups. On the other hand, in the second approach, it is assumed that the pharyngeal response is the same for both groups, but the neural activities to initiate the swallow are different between the two groups. The results show that the second approach complies better with the physiological characteristics of swallowing mechanism as it provides a much better discrimination between the swallowing sounds of control and dysphagic groups of this study. Though, it should be noted that our dysphagic group subjects were cerebral palsy and stroke patients. Hence, the model accounting for initiation of neural activities is reasonable to show better results.