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Statistical evaluation of tongue capability with visual feedback.

BACKGROUND: Analysis of tongue movement would benefit from a reference showcasing healthy tongue capability. We aimed to develop a reference of tongue capability and evaluated the role of visual feedback on the expression of movement.

METHODS: Using a wireless tracking intraoral wearable device, we composed probability distributions of the tongue tip as subjects were asked to explore the entire sensing surface area. Half of the 32 subjects received live visual feedback of the location of the center of the tongue tip contact.

RESULTS: We observed that the visual feedback group was 51.0% more consistent with each other in the position domain, explored 21.5% more sensing surface area, and was 50.7% more uniformly distributed. We found less consistent results when we evaluated velocity and acceleration.

CONCLUSION: Visual feedback best established a healthy capability reference which can be used for designing new interfaces, quantifying tongue ability, developing new diagnostic and rehabilitation techniques, and studying underlying mechanisms of tongue motor control.

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