Dr. Ruth Martin  Associate Professor, Graduate Program Chair                                      

Mailing address
University of Western Ontario
Elborn College, Rm 1510
London, Ontario, Canada
N6B 1H1

Office Location
Elborn College, rm 2568
Laboratory Location
Elborn College, rm  2528

Phone (office): 519-661-2111 ext. 88186
Phone(lab): 519-661-2111 ext. 80017
Fax: 519-850-2369
E-mail: remartin@uwo.ca

Educational Background

1981                    B.A. (Hon) Biology/Psychology
                                Queens University, Kingston, Canada
1982                    M.H.Sc. Speech-Language Pathology
                                University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
1991                    Ph.D. Communicative Disorders
                                University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Orofacial Neurophysiology
                                University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry,Toronto,Canada

Members of the Orofacial Neuroscience Research Team

Rebecca Smith, Research Technician  - rsmith62@uwo.ca
Julie Theurer , PhD candidate   - jasteckl@uwo.ca
Jillian Toogood,
MSc candidate  - jtoogoo@uwo.ca
Marlene Fortushnick,
MSc candidate -  mfortush@uwo.ca
Nesanet Girma,
MSc candidate - nesanetg@uwo.ca
Jennifer Johnston, MSc canidate - jjohns66@uwo.ca

Research Interests

The orofacial sensorimotor system supports a number of fundamental behaviours including swallowing, mastication, and speech production.  Our research is aimed at understanding how these orofacial behaviours are controlled by the central nervous system.

Our current studies combine functional brain imaging techniques with orofacial movement analysis in attempts to elucidate the relationships between brain activation and the orofacial function.  Previously we showed that swallowing is associated with activation of a number of cortical and subcortical structures including the lateral pericentral cortex, perisylvian cortex, anterior cingulate gyrus, and right insula.

Based on these findings, one current study is focused on determining the specialized roles of each of these brain regions in swallowing regulation by (i) manipulating attributes of the swallowing task, and (ii) comparing swallowing with closely related behaviours such as voluntary tongue elevation, and voluntary apnea.  A secondary brain-imaging study is aimed at understanding the neuropathophysiology of swallowing impairment following hemispheric stroke, as well as the mechanisms driving subsequent swallowing recovery.

A.            B.           C.  

Figure A. Blood-Oxygenation-Level-Dependant (BOLD) response to voluntary saliva swallow. Figure B. Brain activation superimposed on an inflated brain showing multiple tasks; blue - tongue movement, red - voluntary saliva swallow, green - finger opposition, yellow - overlapping swallowing and tongue. Figure C. Modified barium swallow of healthy adult.


Martin, R.E., MacIntosh, B.J., Smith, R.C., Barr, A.M., Stevens, T.K., Gati, J.S., Menon, R.S. Cerebral areas processing swallowing and tongue movement are overlapping and distinct: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.  Journal of Neurophysiology. 92: 2428-2443, 2004

Toogood, J.A., Barr, A.M., Stevens, T.K., Gati, J.S., Menon, R.S., Martin, R.E. Discrete functional contributions of cerebral cortical foci in voluntary swallowing: a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) “go, no-go” study.  Experimental Brain Research, 2004.

Theurer, J., Martin, R.E. Treatment outcomes in oral cancer: A critical review of effects on swallowing and speech. Canadian Journal of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology, 27 (4): 190-201, 2003. 

Yao, D., Yamamura, K., Narita, N., Martin, R.E., Murray, G.M., Sessle, B.J. Neuronal activity patterns in primate primary motor cortex related to trained or semiautomatic jaw and tongue movements. Journal of Neurophysiology, 87: 2531-2541, 2002.

Narita, N., Yamamura, K., Yao, D., Martin, R.E.,  Masuda, Y., Sessle, B.J. Effects of reversible bilateral inactivation of primate lateral pericentral cortex on mastication. Archives of Oral Biology, 47: 673-688, 2002.

Yamamura, K., Narita, N., Yao, D., Martin, R.E., Masuda, Y.,  Sessle, B.J. Effects of reversible bilateral inactivation of face primary motor cortex on mastication and swallowing. Brain Research, 944: 40-55, 2002.

Martin, R.E.
, Goodyear, B., Gati, J.S., & Menon, R.S .Cerebral cortical representation of automatic and volitional swallowing in humans. Journal of Neurophysiology, 85:938-950, 2001.     

Chen, Y*., Barron, J.L., Taves, D.H., Martin, R.E .Computer measurement of oral
movement in swallowing. Dysphagia, 16: 97-109, 2001.

Martin, R.E., Letsos, P., Taves, D.H., Inculet R., Johnston, H., & Preiksaitis, H.G. Oropharyngeal dysphagia in esophageal cancer before and following transhiatal esophagectomy.  Dysphagia,  16: 23-31, 2001. 

Martin, R.E.
, Kemppainen, P., Masuda, Y., Yao, D., Murray, G.M., & Sessle,B.J.  "Features of cortically evoked swallowing in the awake primate (macaca fascicularis)." Journal of Neurophysiology, 82:1529-1541, 1999.     

Narita, N., Yamamura, K., Yao, D., Martin, R.E., & Sessle, B.J. "Effects of 
functional disruption of the lateral pericentral cerebral cortex on primate swallowing."Brain Research, 824, 140-145, 1999.

Martin, R.E.
, Murray, G.M., Kemppainen, P., Masuda, Y., & Sessle, B.J. AFunctional properties of neurons in the primate tongue primary motor cortex during swallowing.@ J. Neurophysiology, 78:1516-1530, 1997.

Martin, R.E.,
Neary, M.A., & Diamant, N. ADysphagia following anterior cervical spine surgery". Dysphagia,12:2-8, 1997.

Last revised: 01/09/05