Chewing improves visuospatial performance through locus coeruleus (LC) activation. The effects of bilateral and unilateral mastication were investigated in subjects showing different degrees of asymmetry in masseter electromyographic (EMG) activity during clenching and in pupil size at rest (anisocoria), which is a proxy of LC imbalance. Correlations between performance changes and asymmetry values were found in males, but not in females. Among males, subjects with low asymmetry values (balanced-BAL) were more sensitive than those with high asymmetry values (imbalanced-IMB) to bilateral and unilateral chewing on the side with higher EMG activity (hypertonic). The opposite was true for hypotonic side chewing. BAL subjects were sensitive to unilateral chewing on both sides, while in IMB subjects, hypertonic side chewing did not influence performance in either males or females. Bilateral chewing elicited larger effects in BAL subjects than in IMB subjects, exceeding the values predicted from unilateral chewing in both groups. Finally, pupil size and anisocoria changes elicited by chewing were correlated with asymmetry values, independent of sex. Data confirmed the facilitation of visuospatial performance exerted by chewing. Trigeminal asymmetries modulate the chewing effects, making occlusal rebalancing an appropriate strategy to improve performance.

Trigeminal Stimulation and Visuospatial Performance: The Struggle between Chewing and Trigeminal Asymmetries

Maria Paola Tramonti Fantozzi;Vincenzo De Cicco;Paola d'Ascanio;Enrico Cataldo;Luca Bruschini;Ugo Faraguna;Diego Manzoni
2023-01-01

Abstract

Chewing improves visuospatial performance through locus coeruleus (LC) activation. The effects of bilateral and unilateral mastication were investigated in subjects showing different degrees of asymmetry in masseter electromyographic (EMG) activity during clenching and in pupil size at rest (anisocoria), which is a proxy of LC imbalance. Correlations between performance changes and asymmetry values were found in males, but not in females. Among males, subjects with low asymmetry values (balanced-BAL) were more sensitive than those with high asymmetry values (imbalanced-IMB) to bilateral and unilateral chewing on the side with higher EMG activity (hypertonic). The opposite was true for hypotonic side chewing. BAL subjects were sensitive to unilateral chewing on both sides, while in IMB subjects, hypertonic side chewing did not influence performance in either males or females. Bilateral chewing elicited larger effects in BAL subjects than in IMB subjects, exceeding the values predicted from unilateral chewing in both groups. Finally, pupil size and anisocoria changes elicited by chewing were correlated with asymmetry values, independent of sex. Data confirmed the facilitation of visuospatial performance exerted by chewing. Trigeminal asymmetries modulate the chewing effects, making occlusal rebalancing an appropriate strategy to improve performance.
2023
TRAMONTI FANTOZZI, MARIA PAOLA; De Cicco, Vincenzo; D'Ascanio, Paola; Cataldo, Enrico; De Cicco, Davide; Bruschini, Luca; Barresi, Massimo; Faraguna, Ugo; Manzoni, Diego
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1215928
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