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EMG is the signal widely used in neuromuscular control, biofeedback and measurement applications. Alternative physiological signals are available, but are used relatively infrequently. In the development of assistive devices, such as functional electrical stimulators, it is important to make the device as straightforward to use as possible. This is particularly relevant for patients with neurological and often associated cognitive impairments. Different physiological signals may require different degrees of attention to control, and advantage could be gained from selection of a signal that requires the least attention to control. However, relatively little work has been carried out on how to assess the demands of different physiological signals. This paper reports on the development of a novel experimental set up designed to address this problem and, in particular, to compare two different physiological signals, the EMG and the so-called MK signal. The paper presents the hardware design, including mechanical, electronic and software design, which involves data acquisition, parallel tasks and user-friendly interface. The system described could be adapted for evaluation of other physiological signals.
Date of Conference: 1-5 Sept. 2004