Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2013 Sep 24;10:100. doi: 10.1186/1743-0003-10-100.

Augmented visual feedback counteracts the effects of surface muscular functional electrical stimulation on physiological tremor.

Author information

  • 1Unité d'Etude du Mouvement (UEM), ULB-Erasme, 808 Route de Lennik, 1070, Bruxelles, Belgium.



Recent studies suggest that surface muscular functional electrical stimulation (FES) might suppress neurological upper limb tremor. We assessed its effects on upper limb physiological tremor, which is mainly driven by mechanical-reflex oscillations. We investigated the interaction between FES and augmented visual feedback, since (a) most daily activities are performed using visual cues, and (b) augmented visual feedback exacerbates upper limb tremor.


10 healthy subjects (23.4 ± 7.7 years) performed 2 postural tasks with combinations of FES (4 sites; frequency of stimulation: 30 Hz; pulse width: 300 microsec; range of current delivered 10-34 mAmp) and augmented visual feedback.


Spectral analysis of tremor showed a decrease of power spectral density to 62.18% (p = 0.01), of the integral in the 8-12 Hz frequency band to 57.67% (p = 0.003), and of tremor root mean square (RMS) to 57.16% (p = 0.002) during FES, without any changes in tremor frequency. Augmented visual feedback blocked the beneficial effect of FES, as confirmed by power spectral analysis (p = 0.01). We found a statistically significant interaction between augmented visual feedback and electrical stimulation (p = 0.039).


Augmented visual feedback antagonizes the effects of FES on physiological tremor. The absence of changes of peak frequency argues against an effect of FES on mechanical properties of the upper limb.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk