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Creators/Authors contains: "Kamper, Derek G."

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  3. Objective: Robust neural decoding of intended motor output is crucial to enable intuitive control of assistive devices, such as robotic hands, to perform daily tasks. Few existing neural decoders can predict kinetic and kinematic variables simultaneously. The current study developed a continuous neural decoding approach that can concurrently predict fingertip forces and joint angles of multiple fingers. Methods: We obtained motoneuron firing activities by decomposing high-density electromyogram (HD EMG) signals of the extrinsic finger muscles. The identified motoneurons were first grouped and then refined specific to each finger (index or middle) and task (finger force and dynamic movement) combination. The refined motoneuron groups (separate matrix) were then applied directly to new EMG data in real-time involving both finger force and dynamic movement tasks produced by both fingers. EMG-amplitude-based prediction was also performed as a comparison. Results: We found that the newly developed decoding approach outperformed the EMG-amplitude method for both finger force and joint angle estimations with a lower prediction error (Force: 3.47±0.43 vs 6.64±0.69% MVC, Joint Angle: 5.40±0.50° vs 12.8±0.65°) and a higher correlation (Force: 0.75±0.02 vs 0.66±0.05, Joint Angle: 0.94±0.01 vs 0.5±0.05) between the estimated and recorded motor output. The performance was also consistent for both fingers. Conclusion: The developed neural decoding algorithm allowed us to accurately and concurrently predict finger forces and joint angles of multiple fingers in real-time. Significance: Our approach can enable intuitive interactions with assistive robotic hands, and allow the performance of dexterous hand skills involving both force control tasks and dynamic movement control tasks. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2024
  4. A reliable and functional neural interface is necessary to control individual finger movements of assistive robotic hands. Non-invasive surface electromyogram (sEMG) can be used to predict fingertip forces and joint kinematics continuously. However, concurrent prediction of kinematic and dynamic variables in a continuous manner remains a challenge. The purpose of this study was to develop a neural decoding algorithm capable of concurrent prediction of fingertip forces and finger dynamic movements. High-density electromyogram (HD-EMG) signal was collected during finger flexion tasks using either the index or middle finger: isometric, dynamic, and combined tasks. Based on the data obtained from the two first tasks, motor unit (MU) firing activities associated with individual fingers and tasks were derived using a blind source separation method. MUs assigned to the same tasks and fingers were pooled together to form MU pools. Twenty MUs were then refined using EMG data of a combined trial. The refined MUs were applied to a testing dataset of the combined task, and were divided into five groups based on the similarity of firing patterns, and the populational discharge frequency was determined for each group. Using the summated firing frequencies obtained from five groups of MUs in a multivariate linear regression model, fingertip forces and joint angles were derived concurrently. The decoding performance was compared to the conventional EMG amplitude-based approach. In both joint angles and fingertip forces, MU-based approach outperformed the EMG amplitude approach with a smaller prediction error (Force: 5.36±0.47 vs 6.89±0.39 %MVC, Joint Angle: 5.0±0.27° vs 12.76±0.40°) and a higher correlation (Force: 0.87±0.05 vs 0.73±0.1, Joint Angle: 0.92±0.05 vs 0.45±0.05) between the predicted and recorded motor output. The outcomes provide a functional and accurate neural interface for continuous control of assistive robotic hands. 
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