Compressed spike-triggered averaging in iterative decomposition of surface EMG

Jonathan Lundsberg, Anders Björkman, Nebojsa Malesevic, Christian Antfolk

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Background and Objective: Analysis of motor unit activity is important for assessing and treating diseases or injuries affecting natural movement. State-of-the-art decomposition translates high-density surface electromyography (HDsEMG) into motor unit activity. However, current decomposition methods offer far from complete separation of all motor units. Methods: This paper proposes a peel-off approach to automatic decomposition of HDsEMG into motor unit action potential (MUAP) trains, based on the Fast Independent Component Analysis algorithm (FastICA). The novel steps include utilizing compression by means of Principal Component Analysis and spike-triggered averaging, to estimate surface MUAP distributions with less noise, which are iteratively subtracted from the HDsEMG dataset. Furthermore, motor unit spike trains are estimated by high-dimensional density-based clustering of peaks in the FastICA source output. And finally, a new reliability measure is used to discard poor motor unit estimates by comparing the variance of the FastICA source output before and after the peel-off step. The method was validated using reconstructed synthetic data at three different signal-to-noise levels and was compared to an established deflationary FastICA approach. Results: Both algorithms had very high recall and precision, over 90%, for spikes from matching motor units, referred to as matched performance. However, the peel-off algorithm correctly identified more motor units for all noise levels. When accounting for unidentified motor units, total recall was up to 33 percentage points higher; and when accounting for duplicate estimates, total precision was up to 24 percentage points higher, compared to the state-of-the-art reference. In addition, a comparison was done using experimental data where the proposed algorithm had a matched recall of 97% and precision of 85% with respect to the reference algorithm. Conclusion: These results show a substantial performance increase for decomposition of simulated HDsEMG data and serve to validate the proposed approach. This performance increase is an important step towards complete decomposition and extraction of information of motor unit activity.

TidskriftComputer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
StatusPublished - 2023 jan.

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Signalbehandling


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