Definitions

Electropalatography

Electropalatography

Electropalatography (EPG) is a technique used to monitor contacts between the tongue and hard palate, particularly during articulation and speech.

A custom-made artificial palate is moulded to fit against a speaker's hard palate. The artificial palate contains electrodes exposed to the lingual surface. When contact occurs between the tongue surface and any of the electrodes, particularly between the lateral margins of the tongue and the borders of the hard palate, electronic signals are sent to an external processing unit. EPG provides dynamic real-time visual feedback of the location and timing of tongue contacts with the hard palate.

This procedure can record details of tongue activity during speech. It can provide direct articulatory information that children can use in therapy to monitor and improve their articulation patterns. Visual feedback is very important in the success of treating deaf children.

Electropalatography has been studied in a variety of populations, including children with cleft palate, children with Down's Syndrome, children who are deaf, children with cochlear implants, children with cerebral palsy and adults with Parkinson's disease. Therapy has proved to be successful in tested populations. Longitudinal studies with large sample sizes are needed to determine the long-term success of therapy.

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