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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2016, Article ID 3489540, 5 pages
Research Article

Progressive FastICA Peel-Off and Convolution Kernel Compensation Demonstrate High Agreement for High Density Surface EMG Decomposition

1Biomedical Engineering Program, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
2Guangdong Work Injury Rehabilitation Center, Guangzhou, China
3Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Maribor, Maribor, Slovenia
4Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA
5TIRR Memorial Hermann Research Center, Houston, TX, USA

Received 30 March 2016; Accepted 1 August 2016

Academic Editor: Brian C. Clark

Copyright © 2016 Maoqi Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Decomposition of electromyograms (EMG) is a key approach to investigating motor unit plasticity. Various signal processing techniques have been developed for high density surface EMG decomposition, among which the convolution kernel compensation (CKC) has achieved high decomposition yield with extensive validation. Very recently, a progressive FastICA peel-off (PFP) framework has also been developed for high density surface EMG decomposition. In this study, the CKC and PFP methods were independently applied to decompose the same sets of high density surface EMG signals. Across 91 trials of 64-channel surface EMG signals recorded from the first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle of 9 neurologically intact subjects, there were a total of 1477 motor units identified from the two methods, including 969 common motor units. On average, common motor units were identified from each trial, which showed a very high matching rate of % in their discharge instants. The high degree of agreement of common motor units from the CKC and the PFP processing provides supportive evidence of the decomposition accuracy for both methods. The different motor units obtained from each method also suggest that combination of the two methods may have the potential to further increase the decomposition yield.