A myoelectric computer interface for reducing abnormal muscle activations after spinal cord injury

Fabio Rizzoglio, Francesca Sciandra, Elisa Galofaro, Luca Losio, Elisabetta Quinland, Clara Leoncini, Antonino Massone, F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, Maura Casadio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Myoelectric Computer Interfaces (MCIs) are a viable option to promote the recovery of movements following spinal cord injury (SCI), stroke, or other neurological disorders that impair motor functions. We developed and tested a MCI interface with the goal of reducing abnormal muscular activations due to compensatory strategies or undesired co-contraction after SCI. The interface mapped surface electromyographic signals (sEMG) into the movement of a cursor on a computer monitor. First, we aimed to reduce the co-activation of muscles pairs: the activation of two muscles controlled orthogonal directions of the cursor movements. Furthermore, to decrease the undesired concurrent activation of a third muscle, we modulated the visual feedback related to the position of the cursor on the screen based on the activation of this muscle. We tested the interface with six unimpaired and two SCI participants. Participants were able to decrease the activity of the targeted muscle when it was associated with the visual feedback of the cursor, but, interestingly, after training, its activity increased again. As for the SCI participants, one successfully decreased the co-activation of arm muscles, while the other successfully improved the selective activation of leg muscles. This is a first proof of concept that people with SCI can acquire, through the proposed MCI, a greater awareness of their muscular activity, reducing abnormal muscle simultaneous activations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 IEEE 16th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR 2019
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages1049-1054
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781728127552
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Event16th IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR 2019 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: Jun 24 2019Jun 28 2019

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics
Volume2019-June
ISSN (Print)1945-7898
ISSN (Electronic)1945-7901

Conference

Conference16th IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR 2019
CountryCanada
CityToronto
Period6/24/196/28/19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Rehabilitation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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