We have developed a new and powerful method to study the movement and function of upper airway muscles. Our method is to use direct electrical stimulation of individual upper airway muscles, while performing state of the art high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We have adapted a paralyzed isolated UA cat model so that positive or negative static pressure in the UA can be controlled at specific levels while electrical muscle stimulation is applied during MRI. With these techniques we can assess the effect of muscle stimulation on airway cross-sectional area compliance and soft tissue motion. We are reporting the preliminary results and MRI techniques which have enabled us to examine changes in airway dimensions which result form electrical stimulation of specific upper airway dilator muscles. The results of this study will be relevant to the development of new clinical treatments for obstructive sleep apnea by providing new information as to exactly how upper airway muscles function to dilate the upper airway and the strength of stimulation required to prevent the airway obstruction when overall muscle tone may not be sufficient to maintain regular breathing.