Can Measured Synergy Excitations Accurately Construct Unmeasured Muscle Excitations?

Nicholas A. Bianco, Carolynn Patten, Benjamin J. Fregly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Accurate prediction of muscle and joint contact forces during human movement could improve treatment planning for disorders such as osteoarthritis, stroke, Parkinson's disease, and cerebral palsy. Recent studies suggest that muscle synergies, a low-dimensional representation of a large set of muscle electromyographic (EMG) signals (henceforth called "muscle excitations"), may reduce the redundancy of muscle excitation solutions predicted by optimization methods. This study explores the feasibility of using muscle synergy information extracted from eight muscle EMG signals (henceforth called "included" muscle excitations) to accurately construct muscle excitations from up to 16 additional EMG signals (henceforth called "excluded" muscle excitations). Using treadmill walking data collected at multiple speeds from two subjects (one healthy, one poststroke), we performed muscle synergy analysis on all possible subsets of eight included muscle excitations and evaluated how well the calculated time-varying synergy excitations could construct the remaining excluded muscle excitations (henceforth called "synergy extrapolation"). We found that some, but not all, eight-muscle subsets yielded synergy excitations that achieved >90% extrapolation variance accounted for (VAF). Using the top 10% of subsets, we developed muscle selection heuristics to identify included muscle combinations whose synergy excitations achieved high extrapolation accuracy. For 3, 4, and 5 synergies, these heuristics yielded extrapolation VAF values approximately 5% lower than corresponding reconstruction VAF values for each associated eight-muscle subset. These results suggest that synergy excitations obtained from experimentally measured muscle excitations can accurately construct unmeasured muscle excitations, which could help limit muscle excitations predicted by muscle force optimizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011011
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Volume140
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)

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