Rosette strain gage, electromyography (EMG), and cineradiographic techniques were used to analyze loading patterns and jaw movements during mastication in Macaca fascicularis. The cineradiographic data indicate that macaques generally swallow frequently throughout a chewing sequence, and these swallows are intercalated into a chewing cycle towards the end of a power stroke. The bone strain and jaw movement data indicate that during vigorous mastication the transition between fast close and the power stroke is correlated with a sharp increase in masticatory force, and they also show that in most instances the jaws of macaques are maximally loaded prior to maximum intercuspation, i.e. during phase I (buccal phase) occlusal movements. Moreover, these data indicate that loads during phase II (lingual phase) occlusal movements are ordinarily relatively small. The bone strain data also suggest that the duration of unloading of the jaw during the power stroke of mastication is largely a function of the relaxation time of the jaw adductors. This interpretation is based on the finding that the duration from 100% peak strain to 50% peak strain during unloading closely approximates the halfrelaxation time of whole adductor jaw muscles of macaques.
The EMG data of the masseter and medial pterygoid muscles have important implications for understanding both the biomechanics of the power stroke and the external forces responsible for the “wishboning” effect that takes place along the mandibular symphysis and corpus during the power stroke of mastication. Although both medial pterygoid muscles reach maximum EMG activity during the power stroke, the activity of the working-side medial pterygoid peaks after the balancing-side medial pterygoid. Associated with the simultaneous increase of force of the working-side medial pterygoid and decrease of force of the balancing-side medial pterygoid is the persistently high level of EMG activity of the balancing-side deep masseter (posterior portion). This pattern is of considerable significance because the direction of force of both the working-side medial pterygoid and the balancing-side deep masseter is well aligned to aid in driving the workingside lower molars across the upper molars in the medial direction during unilateral mastication. Moreover, the persistent activity of the balancing-side deep masseter associated with the gradual relaxation of the remaining balancing-side muscles indicates that although vertical force along the balancing side is decreasing, there is a relative increase in laterally directed force, and this results in relatively high strains and an increase in lateral transverse bending of the balancingside mandibular corpus (and symphysis) throughout the power stroke.