How to make model of human tongue using clay
At first, an original model of tongue was formed by baking clay which
is hardened by heating. The shape of tongue was decided with multiple references of anatomy books, MRI images,
educational models, and our real tongues. [ Next, a mold was made with silicon using the original model of tongue.
Then, the final figure models were molded and duplicated with urethane rubber gel whose
hardness is near to human
skin. The model includes intrinsic and extrinsic tongue muscles, although the current version was made as a whole
shape model of tongue body consisting of combined muscles. Compared to the current materials used in speech science education, such as drawings, pictures, videos, or human body models, the proposed tongue figure model is useful for understanding three dimensional tongue shape and internal and external tongue muscles' positions and motions,
too. Because students can hold and touch the realistic tongue model and make it move and deform by pushing and
pulling this viscoelastic tongue body. Pictures and explanatory texts do not make sense but the proposed model can
help for students to understand anatomical structures and functions of speech articulation intuitively. From questionnaires from students in a speech science seminar, it is founded that the proposed model is an effective tool for understanding speech articulation. It can be applied not only to teach speech science, but also to elucidate speech articulation by scientists and engineers, and also to develop a tongue actuator for speaking robots. - ]
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