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Maureen L Stone, PhD

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Neural & Pain Sciences



My research involves studying the tongue and vocal tract during speech, swallowing and breathing. The tongue is critical to all three, but not well understood due to its position deep within the oral cavity. Our lab, the Vocal Tract Visualization Laboratory, measures positions and motions of the oral structures using several imaging techniques, particularly ultrasound and MRI. Our goal is to understand how the tongue is controlled in complex behaviors since we do not consciously think about them. We have just begun studying the effects of tongue cancer surgery (glossectomy) on tongue motion patterns and the resulting speech. We are interested in the adaptation strategies that arise after surgical removal of part of the tongue. We consider the effects of subject-based and surgery-based factors on these tongue movements. We are also developing an atlas of normal tongue motions to use for comparison to tongue movement disorders and compensations.  For more information see