Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

INVOLUNTARY MOVEMENTS OF THE TONGUE 
BY 
H. C. COURTEN. 
Among the many psychological problems as yet only partially solved 
is that of automatic muscular movement. This is a phenomenon of 
many different phases, but the most important one, perhaps, is that of 
automatic movement of the speech organs. So far but little has been 
done toward its experimental demonstration. Hansen and Lehmann1 
satisfied themselves of its existence, but obtained no measurements in 
regard to it. Curtis 2 secured some records showing unconscious move¬ 
ments of the larynx during mental action. These seem to be the only 
direct investigations of this problem. 
The apparatus used in my experiments consisted of a Rousselot 8 ex¬ 
ploratory bulb (Fig. i) fitted with a long tube connected to a Marey 
Fig. i. 
tambour. The bulb was of French make, about x cm. in thickness 
(measured in the direction of the tube), and 9 sq. cm. in cross section. 
This size was decided on only after repeated trials with bulbs of different 
sizes. The records were made on a kymograph. 
Some difficulty was experienced in finding the correct position for the 
bulb. At first it was placed far back in the mouth near the palate, 
because it was thought that the greatest movement of the tongue would 
be manifested there. But while it was in this position the subject showed 
a tendency to gag, and could not hold the bulb quietly in place. The most 
convenient and effective position was finally found to be in the front part 
1 Hansen und Lehmann, Ober tmwillkilrliches Flüstern, Philos. Stud., 1895 XI 
471. 
2 Curtis, Automatic movements of tke larynx, Amer. Jour. Psychol., 1899 XI 237. 
3 Rousselot, Principes de Phonétique Expérimentale, 86, Paris 1897. 
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