On the power spectrum of motor unit action potential trains synchronized with mechanical vibration


Objective: Provide a definitive analysis of the spectrum of a motor unit action potential train elicited by mechanical vibratory stimulation via a detailed and concise mathematical formulation. Experimental studies demonstrated that motor unit action potentials are not exactly synchronized with the vibratory stimulus but show a variable latency jitter, whose effects have not been investigated yet. Methods: Synchronized action potential train was represented as a quasi-periodic sequence of a given motor unit waveform. The latency jitter of action potentials was modeled as a Gaussian stochastic process, in accordance to previous experimental studies. Results: A mathematical expression for power spectrum of a synchronized motor unit action potential train has been derived. The spectrum comprises a significant continuous component and discrete components at the vibratory frequency and its harmonics. Their relevance is correlated to the level of synchronization: the weaker the synchronization, the more relevant the continuous spectrum. EMG rectification enhances the discrete components. Conclusion: The derived equations have general validity and well describe the power spectrum of actual EMG recordings during vibratory stimulation. Results are obtained by appropriately setting the level of synchronization and vibration frequency. Significance: This study definitively clarifies the nature of changes in spectrum of raw EMG recordings from muscles undergoing vibratory stimulation. Results confirm the need of motion artifact filtering for raw EMG recordings during stimulation and strongly suggests to avoid EMG rectification that significantly alters the spectrum characteristics.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/TNSRE.2018.2803019
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Engineering and Technology > Mechanical, Biomedical & Design
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Optometry & Vision Science Research Group (OVSRG)
College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © 2018 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
Uncontrolled Keywords: EMG spectrum,motion artifact,motor unit action potential train,whole body vibration
Publication ISSN: 1558-0210
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.sco ... eecec4c660dbc3f (Scopus URL)
http://ieeexplo ... cument/8283538/ (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2018-03-06
Published Online Date: 2018-02-06
Accepted Date: 2018-01-30
Authors: Romano, Maria
Fratini, Antonio (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-8894-461X)
Gargiulo, Gaetano D.
Cesarelli, Mario
Iuppariello, Luigi
Bifulco, Paolo



Version: Accepted Version

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