Original Article

Simultaneous dual-plane, real-time magnetic resonance imaging of oral cavity movements in advanced trombone players

Peter W. Iltis, Matthias Heyne, Jens Frahm, Dirk Voit, Arun Joseph, Lian Atlas


Background: This paper describes the use of real-time magnetic resonance imaging to simultaneously obtain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) videos in both a sagittal and coronal plane during the performance of a musical exercise in five advanced trombone players.
Methods: Dual-slice recordings were implemented in a frame-interleaved manner with 20 ms acquisitions per frame to achieve two interleaved videos at a rate of 25 frames per second. A customized MATLAB toolkit was used for the extraction of line profiles from MRI videos to quantify tongue movements associated with exercise performance from both perspectives.
Results: Across all subjects, the analyses revealed precise coupling of vertical movements of the dorsal tongue surface (DTS), viewed from a sagittal perspective, with reduction in the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the air channel formed between the DTS and the hard palate, viewed from a coronal perspective. The cross-correlation between these movements was very strong (mean R=0.967). Conclusions: These results demonstrate the unique utility of this dual-slice technology in describing the coordination of complex tongue movements occurring in two planes (i.e., three directions) simultaneously, lending a deeper understanding of lingual motor control during trombone performance.

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