Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


First Advisor

Steven M. Barlow

Date of this Version

Spring 4-18-2021


Molina, A. (2021). Clinical case study: The effects of real-time iEMG biofeedback on facial muscle activation patterns in a child with congenital facial palsy [Master's thesis, University of Nebraska–Lincoln]. UNL Digital Commons.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology, Under the Supervision of Professor Steven M. Barlow. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2021

Copyright (c) 2021 Alyssa Molina


Experimental findings are limited concerning efficacious procedures for facial reanimation following persistent idiopathic facial paralysis or paresis. Additional research examining the use of real-time integrated electromyography (iEMG) biofeedback for young children with persistent idiopathic facial paralysis is one approach to further understand the efficacy of electrophysiology biofeedback techniques in facial reanimation for this age group and etiology. iEMG research has applications in interventions for pathology of nerves and muscles affecting animation of the face. The proposed clinical case study will adopt real time iEMG visual biofeedback to facilitate facial reanimation in a preadolescent child. Quantitative measurements will determine orofacial muscle activation levels across 3 months of weekly facial gesture training sessions in an academic clinical speech pathology setting. This study found positive main effects on mid-face and perioral iEMG activation patterns related to biofeedback session number, muscle group, and between affected and unaffected sides of the face. According to clinical examination, the child participant demonstrated increased reanimation in the affected mid-face related to session number with the new appearance of facial dimpling, oral angle retraction during smile, and observed changes in extraocular posture and movement of the right eyelid, also noted by her physician and dentist. This study illustrated the potential importance of real time biofeedback training for facial reanimation and the efficacy of an electrophysiological monitoring system to quantify and display facial muscle activation patterns to enhance facial movement during emotive gestures.

Advisor: Steven M. Barlow