Objective. The development of modern assistive and rehabilitation devices requires reliable and easy-to-use methods to extract neural information for control of devices. Group-specific pattern recognition identifiers are influenced by inter-subject variability. Based on high-density EMG (HD-EMG) maps, our research group has already shown that inter-subject muscle activation patterns exist in a population of healthy subjects. The aim of this paper is to analyze muscle activation patterns associated with four tasks (flexion/extension of the elbow, and supination/pronation of the forearm) at three different effort levels in a group of patients with incomplete Spinal Cord Injury (iSCI). Approach. Muscle activation patterns were evaluated by the automatic identification of these four isometric tasks along with the identification of levels of voluntary contractions. Two types of classifiers were considered in the identification: linear discriminant analysis and support vector machine. Main results. Results show that performance of classification increases when combining features extracted from intensity and spatial information of HD-EMG maps (accuracy = 97.5%). Moreover, when compared to a population with injuries at different levels, a lower variability between activation maps was obtained within a group of patients with similar injury suggesting stronger task-specific and effort-level-specific co-activation patterns, which enable better prediction results. Significance. Despite the challenge of identifying both the four tasks and the three effort levels in patients with iSCI, promising results were obtained which support the use of HD-EMG features for providing useful information regarding motion and force intention
Migliorelli, C.; Alonso, J.F.; Romero, S.; Mañanas, M.A.; Nowak, R.; Russi, A. Journal of neural engineering Vol. 13, num. 2, p. 1-12 DOI: 10.1088/1741-2560/13/2/026029 Data de publicació: 2016-03-02 Article en revista
Objective. Medical intractable epilepsy is a common condition that affects 40% of epileptic patients that generally have to undergo resective surgery. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) has been increasingly used to identify the epileptogenic foci through equivalent current dipole (ECD) modeling, one of the most accepted methods to obtain an accurate localization of interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs). Modeling requires that MEG signals are adequately preprocessed to reduce interferences, a task that has been greatly improved by the use of blind source separation (BSS) methods. MEG recordings are highly sensitive to metallic interferences originated inside the head by implanted intracranial electrodes, dental prosthesis, etc and also coming from external sources such as pacemakers or vagal stimulators. To reduce these artifacts, a BSS-based fully automatic procedure was recently developed and validated, showing an effective reduction of metallic artifacts in simulated and real signals (Migliorelli et al 2015 J. Neural Eng. 12 046001). The main objective of this study was to evaluate its effects in the detection of IEDs and ECD modeling of patients with focal epilepsy and metallic interference. Approach. A comparison between the resulting positions of ECDs was performed: without removing metallic interference; rejecting only channels with large metallic artifacts; and after BSS-based reduction. Measures of dispersion and distance of ECDs were defined to analyze the results. Main results. The relationship between the artifact-to-signal ratio and ECD fitting showed that higher values of metallic interference produced highly scattered dipoles. Results revealed a significant reduction on dispersion using the BSS-based reduction procedure, yielding feasible locations of ECDs in contrast to the other two approaches. Significance. The automatic BSS-based method can be applied to MEG datasets affected by metallic artifacts as a processing step to improve the localization of epileptic foci.
Migliorelli, C.; Alonso, J.F.; Romero, S.; Mañanas, M.A.; Nowak, R.; Russi, A. Journal of neural engineering Vol. 12, p. 046001-1-046001-12 DOI: 10.1088/1741-2560/12/4/046001 Data de publicació: 2015-05-27 Article en revista
Objective. One of the principal drawbacks of magnetoencephalography (MEG) is its high sensitivity to metallic artifacts, which come from implanted intracranial electrodes and dental ferromagnetic prosthesis and produce a high distortion that masks cerebral activity. The aim of this study was to develop an automatic algorithm based on blind source separation (BSS) techniques to remove metallic artifacts from MEG signals. Approach. Three methods were evaluated: AMUSE, a second-order technique; and INFOMAX and FastICA, both based on high-order statistics. Simulated signals consisting of real artifact-free data mixed with real metallic artifacts were generated to objectively evaluate the effectiveness of BSS and the subsequent interference reduction. A completely automatic detection of metallic-related components was proposed, exploiting the known characteristics of the metallic interference: regularity and low frequency content. Main results. The automatic procedure was applied to the simulated datasets and the three methods exhibited different performances. Results indicated that AMUSE preserved and consequently recovered more brain activity than INFOMAX and FastICA. Normalized mean squared error for AMUSE decomposition remained below 2%, allowing an effective removal of artifactual components. Significance. To date, the performance of automatic artifact reduction has not been evaluated in MEG recordings. The proposed methodology is based on an automatic algorithm that provides an effective interference removal. This approach can be applied to any MEG dataset affected by metallic artifacts as a processing step, allowing further analysis of unusable or poor quality data.