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Multiple site electromyograph amplitude estimation

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2 Author(s)
Clancy, E.A. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA ; Hogan, N.

Temporal whitening of individual surface electromyograph (EMG) waveforms and spatial combination of multiple recording sites have separately been demonstrated to improve the performance of EMG amplitude estimation. This investigation combined these two techniques by first whitening, then combining the data from multiple EMG recording sites to form an EMG amplitude estimate. A phenomenological mathematical model of multiple sites of the surface EMG waveform, with analytic solution for an optimal amplitude estimate, is presented. Experimental surface EMG waveforms were then sampled from multiple sites during nonfatiguing, constant-force, isometric contractions of the biceps or triceps muscles, over the range of 10-75% maximum voluntary contraction. A signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was computed from each amplitude estimate (deviations about the mean value of the estimate were considered as noise). Results showed that SNR performance: 1) increased with the number of EMG sites, 2) was a function of the sampling frequency, 3) was predominantly invariant to various methods of determining spatial uncorrelation filters, 4) was not sensitive to the intersite correlations of the electrode configuration investigated, and 5) was best at lower levels of contraction. A moving average root mean square estimator (245-ms window) provided an average ± standard deviation (A±SD) SNR of 10.7±3.3 for single site unwhitened recordings. Temporal whitening and four combined sites improved the A±SD SNR to 24.6±10.4. On one subject, eight whitened combined sites were achieved, providing an A±SD SNR of 35.0±13.4.

Published in:

Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 2 )