Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Biological Sciences

Program or Major

Neuroscience and Behavior

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Donald A. Robin

Second Advisor

Keri Miloro


A quantitative, voxel-wise meta-analysis was performed to investigate the brain regions involved in healthy human swallowing. Studies included in the meta-analysis (1) examined water swallowing, saliva swallowing, or both, (2) included healthy, normal subjects, and (3) reported stereotaxic brain activation coordinates in standard space. Following these criteria, a systematic literature review identified 8 studies that met the criteria. An activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis and meta-analytic connectivity modelling (MACM) analysis were performed with BrainMap software. Ten clusters with high activation likelihood were found in the bilateral precentral gyri, right insula, left declive, right medial frontal gyrus, right dorsal nucleus of the thalamus, and the bilateral dentate nuclei of the cerebellum. Meta-analytic connectivity modelling revealed functional two-way and one-way connections between the regions, forming an interconnected network. Together, these finding indicate an extensive swallowing network made up of the key activated regions and the associated areas within those regions.