Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Date of this Version



Proceeding SIGGRAPH '14, ACM SIGGRAPH 2014 Posters, Article No. 103


U.S. Government Work


Human swallowing and its disorders (dysphagia) are still poorly understood, and yet many speech-language pathologists (SLPs) need to be trained to recognize correct, incorrect, and potentially dangerous swallows. The anatomy of the head and neck region is notoriously complex and difficult to visualize and study. Currently, training programs that teach SLPs to recognize swallowing disorders use artistically derived animations of swallowing, rendered at fixed viewpoints, to help students visualize the anatomy of the head and neck region.

This work improves on these animations by using state-of-the-art medical images to create a dynamic, interactive, 3D simulation of human swallowing. Images of a male subject during swallow were captured in a single shot using a 320-slice CT scanner [Inamoto et al. 2011]. The images have very high spatial resolution (0:5 x 0:5 x 0:5 mm3), but low temporal resolution (10 Hz). The low temporal resolution resulted in blurring of the fluid being swallowed, making automatic segmentation and visualizations of the fluid difficult to generate.