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J Neurosci Methods. 2002 Feb 15;114(1):87-98.

Temporal transformation of multiunit activity improves identification of single motor units.

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Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, P.O. Box 509, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12201-0509, USA.


This report describes a temporally based method for identifying repetitive firing of motor units. This approach is ideally suited to spike trains with negative serially correlated inter-spike intervals (ISIs). It can also be applied to spike trains in which ISIs exhibit little serial correlation if their coefficient of variation (COV) is sufficiently low. Using a novel application of the Hough transform, this method (i.e. the modified Hough transform (MHT)) maps motor unit action potential (MUAP) firing times into a feature space with ISI and offset (defined as the latency from an arbitrary starting time to the first MUAP in the train) as dimensions. Each MUAP firing time corresponds to a pattern in the feature space that represents all possible MUAP trains with a firing at that time. Trains with stable ISIs produce clusters in the feature space, whereas randomly firing trains do not. The MHT provides a direct estimate of mean firing rate and its variability for the entire data segment, even if several individual MUAPs are obscured by firings from other motor units. Addition of this method to a shape-based classification approach markedly improved rejection of false positives using simulated data and identified spike trains in whole muscle electromyographic recordings from rats. The relative independence of the MHT from the need to correctly classify individual firings permits a global description of stable repetitive firing behavior that is complementary to shape-based approaches to MUAP classification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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