Real-time task discrimination for myoelectric control employing task-specific muscle synergies

Ghulam Rasoo, Kamran Iqbal, Nidhal Bouaynaya, Gannon White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


We present a novel formulation that employs task-specific muscle synergies and state-space representation of neural signals to tackle the challenging myoelectric control problem for lower arm prostheses. The proposed framework incorporates information about muscle configurations, e.g., muscles acting synergistically or in agonist/antagonist pairs, using the hypothesis of muscle synergies. The synergy activation coefficients are modeled as the latent system state and are estimated using a constrained Kalman filter. These task-dependent synergy activation coefficients are estimated in real-time from the electromyogram (EMG) data and are used to discriminate between various tasks. The task discrimination is helped by a post-processing algorithm that uses posterior probabilities. The proposed algorithm is robust as well as computationally efficient, yielding a decision with 90% discrimination accuracy in approximately 3 ms. The real-time performance and controllability of the algorithm were evaluated using the targeted achievement control (TAC) test. The proposed algorithm outperformed common machine learning algorithms for single-as well as multi-degree-of-freedom (DOF) tasks in both off-line discrimination accuracy and real-time controllability ( ).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-108
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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