Use of probabilistic weights to enhance linear regression myoelectric control

Lauren H. Smith*, Todd A. Kuiken, Levi J. Hargrove

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective. Clinically available prostheses for transradial amputees do not allow simultaneous myoelectric control of degrees of freedom (DOFs). Linear regression methods can provide simultaneous myoelectric control, but frequently also result in difficulty with isolating individual DOFs when desired. This study evaluated the potential of using probabilistic estimates of categories of gross prosthesis movement, which are commonly used in classification-based myoelectric control, to enhance linear regression myoelectric control. Approach. Gaussian models were fit to electromyogram (EMG) feature distributions for three movement classes at each DOF (no movement, or movement in either direction) and used to weight the output of linear regression models by the probability that the user intended the movement. Eight ablebodied and two transradial amputee subjects worked in a virtual Fitts' law task to evaluate differences in controllability between linear regression and probability-weighted regression for an intramuscular EMG-based three-DOF wrist and hand system. Main results. Real-time and offline analyses in able-bodied subjects demonstrated that probability weighting improved performance during single-DOF tasks (p < 0.05) by preventing extraneous movement at additional DOFs. Similar results were seen in experiments with two transradial amputees. Though goodness-of-fit evaluations suggested that the EMG feature distributions showed some deviations from the Gaussian, equal-covariance assumptions used in this experiment, the assumptions were sufficiently met to provide improved performance compared to linear regression control. Significance. Use of probability weights can improve the ability to isolate individual during linear regression myoelectric control, while maintaining the ability to simultaneously control multiple DOFs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number066030
JournalJournal of Neural Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 24 2015


  • Fitts' law
  • Intramuscular electromyography
  • Myoelectric prostheses
  • Simultaneous myoelectric control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Biomedical Engineering


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