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Surface myoelectric signal cross-talk among muscles of the leg.

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NeuroMuscular Research Center, Boston University, MA 02215.


Surface myoelectric signals were detected from the skin surface above the tibialis anterior muscle, the peroneus brevis muscle, the soleus muscle and the tibial bone during selective maximal electrical stimulation of the tibialis anterior muscle in 12 normal subjects. The double differential technique developed by Broman et al. (1985) was used to determine if the detected signal was due to volume conduction from the tibialis anterior fibers. The peak-to-peak (PP), average rectified (ARV) and root mean square (RMS) amplitudes of the M waves were computed for each detection location. The values detected on the tibial bone, on the peroneus and on the soleus muscles were normalized with respect to those detected on the tibialis anterior and ranged from 4.8% to 33.0% (PP), 4.7% to 36.0% (ARV), and 7.7% to 37.4% (RMS) for the tibial bone area; from 4.0% to 20.0% (PP), 3.5% to 10.0% (ARV), and 3.0% to 10.0% (RMS) for the peroneus brevis muscle area; and from 3.0% to 8.0% (PP), 3.4% to 9.1% (ARV), and 2.0% to 9.8% (RMS) for the soleus muscle area. Neither peak-to-peak values, average rectified values nor root mean square values appeared to be correlated with leg size. It is concluded that a surface myoelectric signal detected on the skin above a leg muscle and having a peak-to-peak amplitude of up to 16.6% of a signal detected above a neighboring muscle may be due to cross-talk rather than to activation of the muscle below the electrode.

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