Amplitude cancellation influences the association between frequency components in the neural drive to muscle and the rectified EMG signal

Jakob Lund Dideriksen, Dario Farina

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Abstract

The rectified surface EMG signal is commonly used as an estimator of the neural drive to muscles and therefore to infer sources of synaptic input to motor neurons. Loss of EMG amplitude due to the overlap of motor unit action potentials (amplitude cancellation), however, may distort the spectrum of the rectified EMG and thereby its correlation with the neural drive. In this study, we investigated the impact of amplitude cancelation on this correlation using analytical derivations and a computational model of motor neuron activity, force, and the EMG signal. First, we demonstrated analytically that an ideal rectified EMG signal without amplitude cancellation (EMGnc) is superior to the actual rectified EMG signal as estimator of the neural drive to muscle. This observation was confirmed by the simulations, as the average coefficient of determination (r2) between the neural drive in the 1-30 Hz band and EMGnc (0.59±0.08) was matched by the correlation between the rectified EMG and the neural drive only when the level of amplitude cancellation was low (<40%) at low contraction levels (<5% of maximum voluntary contraction force; MVC). This correlation, however, decreased linearly with amplitude cancellation (r = -0.83) to values of r2 <0.2 at amplitude cancellation levels >60% (contraction levels >15% MVC). Moreover, the simulations showed that a stronger (i.e. more variable) neural drive implied a stronger correlation between the rectified EMG and the neural drive and that amplitude cancellation distorted this correlation mainly for low-frequency components (<5 Hz) of the neural drive. In conclusion, the results indicate that amplitude cancellation distorts the spectrum of the rectified EMG signal. This implies that valid use of the rectified EMG as an estimator of the neural drive requires low contraction levels and/or strong common synaptic input to the motor neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1006985
JournalPLOS Computational Biology
Volume15
Issue number5
Number of pages19
ISSN1553-734X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2019

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Cancellation
Muscle
muscle
Muscles
muscles
motor neurons
Neuron
Motor Neurons
Neurons
Estimator
contraction
Contraction
action potentials
Coefficient of Determination
Action Potential
Influence
Drive
Computational Model
simulation
Low Frequency

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title = "Amplitude cancellation influences the association between frequency components in the neural drive to muscle and the rectified EMG signal",
abstract = "The rectified surface EMG signal is commonly used as an estimator of the neural drive to muscles and therefore to infer sources of synaptic input to motor neurons. Loss of EMG amplitude due to the overlap of motor unit action potentials (amplitude cancellation), however, may distort the spectrum of the rectified EMG and thereby its correlation with the neural drive. In this study, we investigated the impact of amplitude cancelation on this correlation using analytical derivations and a computational model of motor neuron activity, force, and the EMG signal. First, we demonstrated analytically that an ideal rectified EMG signal without amplitude cancellation (EMGnc) is superior to the actual rectified EMG signal as estimator of the neural drive to muscle. This observation was confirmed by the simulations, as the average coefficient of determination (r2) between the neural drive in the 1-30 Hz band and EMGnc (0.59±0.08) was matched by the correlation between the rectified EMG and the neural drive only when the level of amplitude cancellation was low (<40{\%}) at low contraction levels (<5{\%} of maximum voluntary contraction force; MVC). This correlation, however, decreased linearly with amplitude cancellation (r = -0.83) to values of r2 <0.2 at amplitude cancellation levels >60{\%} (contraction levels >15{\%} MVC). Moreover, the simulations showed that a stronger (i.e. more variable) neural drive implied a stronger correlation between the rectified EMG and the neural drive and that amplitude cancellation distorted this correlation mainly for low-frequency components (<5 Hz) of the neural drive. In conclusion, the results indicate that amplitude cancellation distorts the spectrum of the rectified EMG signal. This implies that valid use of the rectified EMG as an estimator of the neural drive requires low contraction levels and/or strong common synaptic input to the motor neurons.",
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Amplitude cancellation influences the association between frequency components in the neural drive to muscle and the rectified EMG signal. / Dideriksen, Jakob Lund; Farina, Dario.

In: PLOS Computational Biology, Vol. 15, No. 5, e1006985, 03.05.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Amplitude cancellation influences the association between frequency components in the neural drive to muscle and the rectified EMG signal

AU - Dideriksen, Jakob Lund

AU - Farina, Dario

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N2 - The rectified surface EMG signal is commonly used as an estimator of the neural drive to muscles and therefore to infer sources of synaptic input to motor neurons. Loss of EMG amplitude due to the overlap of motor unit action potentials (amplitude cancellation), however, may distort the spectrum of the rectified EMG and thereby its correlation with the neural drive. In this study, we investigated the impact of amplitude cancelation on this correlation using analytical derivations and a computational model of motor neuron activity, force, and the EMG signal. First, we demonstrated analytically that an ideal rectified EMG signal without amplitude cancellation (EMGnc) is superior to the actual rectified EMG signal as estimator of the neural drive to muscle. This observation was confirmed by the simulations, as the average coefficient of determination (r2) between the neural drive in the 1-30 Hz band and EMGnc (0.59±0.08) was matched by the correlation between the rectified EMG and the neural drive only when the level of amplitude cancellation was low (<40%) at low contraction levels (<5% of maximum voluntary contraction force; MVC). This correlation, however, decreased linearly with amplitude cancellation (r = -0.83) to values of r2 <0.2 at amplitude cancellation levels >60% (contraction levels >15% MVC). Moreover, the simulations showed that a stronger (i.e. more variable) neural drive implied a stronger correlation between the rectified EMG and the neural drive and that amplitude cancellation distorted this correlation mainly for low-frequency components (<5 Hz) of the neural drive. In conclusion, the results indicate that amplitude cancellation distorts the spectrum of the rectified EMG signal. This implies that valid use of the rectified EMG as an estimator of the neural drive requires low contraction levels and/or strong common synaptic input to the motor neurons.

AB - The rectified surface EMG signal is commonly used as an estimator of the neural drive to muscles and therefore to infer sources of synaptic input to motor neurons. Loss of EMG amplitude due to the overlap of motor unit action potentials (amplitude cancellation), however, may distort the spectrum of the rectified EMG and thereby its correlation with the neural drive. In this study, we investigated the impact of amplitude cancelation on this correlation using analytical derivations and a computational model of motor neuron activity, force, and the EMG signal. First, we demonstrated analytically that an ideal rectified EMG signal without amplitude cancellation (EMGnc) is superior to the actual rectified EMG signal as estimator of the neural drive to muscle. This observation was confirmed by the simulations, as the average coefficient of determination (r2) between the neural drive in the 1-30 Hz band and EMGnc (0.59±0.08) was matched by the correlation between the rectified EMG and the neural drive only when the level of amplitude cancellation was low (<40%) at low contraction levels (<5% of maximum voluntary contraction force; MVC). This correlation, however, decreased linearly with amplitude cancellation (r = -0.83) to values of r2 <0.2 at amplitude cancellation levels >60% (contraction levels >15% MVC). Moreover, the simulations showed that a stronger (i.e. more variable) neural drive implied a stronger correlation between the rectified EMG and the neural drive and that amplitude cancellation distorted this correlation mainly for low-frequency components (<5 Hz) of the neural drive. In conclusion, the results indicate that amplitude cancellation distorts the spectrum of the rectified EMG signal. This implies that valid use of the rectified EMG as an estimator of the neural drive requires low contraction levels and/or strong common synaptic input to the motor neurons.

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DO - 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006985

M3 - Journal article

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JO - PLOS Computational Biology

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SN - 1553-734X

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