Combined spatial and frequency encoding for electrotactile feedback of myoelectric signals

Sara Nataletti*, Fabrizio Leo, Jakob Dideriksen, Luca Brayda, Strahinja Dosen*

*Kontaktforfatter

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Abstrakt

Electrotactile stimulation has been commonly used in human-machine interfaces to provide feedback to the user, thereby closing the control loop and improving performance. The encoding approach, which defines the mapping of the feedback information into stimulation profiles, is a critical component of an electrotactile interface. Ideally, the encoding will provide a high-fidelity representation of the feedback variable while being easy to perceive and interpret by the subject. In the present study, we performed a closed-loop experiment wherein discrete and continuous coding schemes are combined to exploit the benefits of both techniques. Subjects performed a muscle activation-matching task relying solely on electrotactile feedback representing the generated myoelectric signal (EMG). In particular, we investigated the performance of two different coding schemes (spatial and spatial combined with frequency) at two feedback resolutions (low: 3 and high: 5 intervals). In both schemes, the stimulation electrodes were placed circumferentially around the upper arm. The magnitude of the normalized EMG was divided into intervals, and each electrode was associated with one interval. When the generated EMG entered one of the intervals, the associated electrode started stimulating. In the combined encoding, the additional frequency modulation of the active electrode also indicated the momentary magnitude of the signal within the interval. The results showed that combined coding decreased the undershooting rate, variability and absolute deviation when the resolution was low but not when the resolution was high, where it actually worsened the performance. This demonstrates that combined coding can improve the effectiveness of EMG feedback, but that this effect is limited by the intrinsic variability of myoelectric control. Our findings, therefore, provide important insights as well as elucidate limitations of the information encoding methods when using electrotactile stimulation to convey a feedback signal characterized by high variability (EMG biofeedback).

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftExperimental Brain Research
Vol/bind240
Udgave nummer9
Sider (fra-til)2285-2298
Antal sider14
ISSN0014-4819
DOI
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2022

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© 2022. The Author(s).

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