Purpose: To enable a more comprehensive view of articulations during speech through near-isotropic 3D dynamic MRI with high spatiotemporal resolution and large vocal-tract coverage. Methods: Using partial separability model-based low-rank reconstruction coupled with a sparse acquisition of both spatial and temporal models, we are able to achieve near-isotropic resolution 3D imaging with a high frame rate. The total acquisition time of the speech acquisition is shortened by introducing a sparse temporal sampling that interleaves one temporal navigator with four randomized phase and slice-encoded imaging samples. Memory and computation time are improved through compressing coils based on the region of interest for low-rank constrained reconstruction with an edge-preserving spatial penalty. Results: The proposed method has been evaluated through experiments on several speech samples, including a standard reading passage. A near-isotropic 1.875 × 1.875 × 2 mm3 spatial resolution, 64-mm through-plane coverage, and a 35.6-fps temporal resolution are achieved. Investigations and analysis on specific speech samples support novel insights into nonsymmetric tongue movement, velum raising, and coarticulation events with adequate visualization of rapid articulatory movements. Conclusion: Three-dimensional dynamic images of the vocal tract structures during speech with high spatiotemporal resolution and axial coverage is capable of enhancing linguistic research, enabling visualization of soft tissue motions that are not possible with other modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)652-664
Number of pages13
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • 3D dynamic imaging
  • dynamic speech imaging
  • linguistics
  • low-rank approximation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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