A simulation study to examine the use of cross-correlation as an estimate of surface EMG cross talk

Madeleine M. Lowery*, Nikolay S. Stoykov, Todd A. Kuiken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cross-correlation between surface electromyogram (EMG) signals is commonly used as a means of quantifying EMG cross talk during voluntary activation. To examine the reliability of this method, the relationship between cross talk and the cross-correlation between surface EMG signals was examined by using model simulation. The simulation results illustrate an increase in cross talk with increasing subcutaneous fat thickness. The results also indicate that the cross-correlation function decays more rapidly with increasing distance from the active fibers than cross talk, which was defined as the normalized EMG amplitude during activation of a single muscle. The influence of common drive and short-term motor unit synchronization on the cross-correlation between surface EMG signals was also examined. While common drive did not alter the maximum value of the cross-correlation function, the correlation increased with increasing motor unit synchronization. It is concluded that cross-correlation analysis is not a suitable means of quantifying cross talk or of distinguishing between cross talk and coactivation during voluntary contraction. Furthermore, it is possible that a high correlation between surface EMG signals may reflect an association between motor unit firing times, for example due to motor unit synchronization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1324-1334
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Volume94
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003

Keywords

  • Model
  • Surface electromyography
  • Synchronization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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