Estimation of neuromuscular primitives from EEG slow cortical potentials in incomplete spinal cord injury individuals for a new class of brain-machine interfaces

Andrés Úbeda, Jose M. Azorín, Dario Farina, Massimo Sartori (Corresponding Author)

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    One of the current challenges in human motor rehabilitation is the robust application of Brain-Machine Interfaces to assistive technologies such as powered lower limb exoskeletons. Reliable decoding of motor intentions and accurate timing of the robotic device actuation is fundamental to optimally enhance the patient's functional improvement. Several studies show that it may be possible to extract kinematic information of upper and lower limb motor tasks from electroencephalographic (EEG) signals. These findings, although notable, suggests that current techniques are still far from being systematically applied to an accurate real-time control of rehabilitation or assistive devices. Here we propose the estimation of spinal primitives of multi-muscle control from EEG, using electromyography (EMG) dimensionality reduction as a solution to increase the robustness of the method. We successfully apply this methodology, both to healthy and incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) patients, to identify muscle contraction during periodical knee extension from the EEG. We also introduce a novel performance metric, which accurately evaluates muscle primitive activations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3
    Number of pages11
    JournalFrontiers in computational neuroscience
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2018


    • Gait rehabilitation
    • brain-machine interface
    • corticospinal mapping
    • linear decoders
    • lower-limb exoskeletons
    • muscle primitives

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