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IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2014 May;22(3):623-33. doi: 10.1109/TNSRE.2013.2282898. Epub 2013 Oct 10.

Extracting signals robust to electrode number and shift for online simultaneous and proportional myoelectric control by factorization algorithms.


Previous research proposed the extraction of myoelectric control signals by linear factorization of multi-channel electromyogram (EMG) recordings from forearm muscles. This paper further analyses the theoretical basis for dimensionality reduction in high-density EMG signals from forearm muscles. Moreover, it shows that the factorization of muscular activation patterns in weights and activation signals by non-negative matrix factorization (NMF) is robust with respect to the channel configuration from where the EMG signals are obtained. High-density surface EMG signals were recorded from the forearm muscles of six individuals. Weights and activation signals extracted offline from 10 channel configurations with varying channel numbers (6, 8, 16, 192 channels) were highly similar. Additionally, the method proved to be robust against electrode shifts in both transversal and longitudinal direction with respect to the muscle fibers. In a second experiment, six subjects directly used the activation signals extracted from high-density EMG for online goal-directed control tasks involving simultaneous and proportional control of two degrees-of-freedom of the wrist. The synergy weights for this control task were extracted from a reference configuration and activation signals were calculated online from the reference configuration as well as from the two shifted configurations, simulating electrode shift. Despite the electrode shift, the task completion rate, task completion time, and execution efficiency were generally not statistically different among electrode configurations. Online performances were also mostly similar when using either 6, 8, or 16 EMG channels. The robustness of the method to the number and location of channels, proved both offline and online, indicates that EMG signals recorded from forearm muscles can be approximated as linear instantaneous mixtures of activation signals and justifies the use of linear factorization algorithms for extracting, in a minimally supervised way, control signals for simultaneous multi-degree of freedom prosthesis control.

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