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.
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|Titolo:||A myoelectric computer interface for reducing abnormal muscle activations after spinal cord injury|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||04.01 - Contributo in atti di convegno|