Juan M. Fontana, Pedro L. Melo and Edward S. Sazonov, 33rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE EMBS, Boston, Massachusetts USA, August 30 - September 3, 2011, pp. 6890-6893.


The detection of swallowing events by acoustic means represents an important tool to assess and diagnose swallowing disorders as well as to objectively monitor ingestive behavior of individuals. Acoustic sensors used to register swallowing sounds may also capture sound artifacts arising from intrinsic speech and external noise affecting the detection. In this paper we tested if subsonic frequencies are less prone to artifacts from speech, chewing and other intrinsic sounds than sonic frequencies. A simple method using a throat and an ambient microphone was employed to compare the swallowing detection accuracy by acoustic signals acquired in the sonic (20- 2500 Hz) and subsonic (≤ 5 Hz) ranges. Averaged recall values were higher than 85% for both ranges. However, averaged precision values of 50% for subsonic frequencies and of 42% for sonic frequencies were caused by a high number of false positives. These results indicated no significant difference between averaged precision values which may suggest that subsonic frequencies were not less prone to intrinsic sound artifacts than frequencies in the sonic range. Further examination with the addition of a signal classification layer is proposed as a future step to confirm this statement.