The larynx (voice box; "Adams apple") is located in the lower anterior neck region. In many respects, the larynx is different in men and women (sexual dimorphism).
The larynx is suspended from the hyoid bone by a membrane. The root of the tongue is attached to the top anterior portion of the hyoid bone. These three structures--the larynx, the hyoid bone, and the tongue--are together known as the hyoid complex. They always move together as a unit.
The larynx performs several functions in humans. Its primary function is to control the volume of the air passing through the air passageways, to and from the alveoli of the lungs. The larynx also produces selected vibration frequencies in the moving column of air.
During swallowing, the hyoid complex is raised into the oral cavity. As this happens, the epiglottis of the larynx acts like a trap door, turning down to cover the entrance of the larynx. This prevents swallowed items from entering the lower air passageway, altogether forming the glottis.
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