Muscle fatigue is a complex phenomenon that results in a reduction of the maximal voluntary force. Measuring muscle fatigue can be a challenging task that may involve the use of intramuscular electrodes (i.e., intramuscular electromyography (EMG)) or complex acquisition techniques. In this study, we propose an alternative non-invasive methodology for muscle fatigue detection relying on the analysis of two autonomic nervous system (ANS) correlates, i.e., the electrodermal activity (EDA) and heart rate variability (HRV) series. Based on standard surface EMG analysis, we divided 32 healthy subjects performing isometric biceps contraction into two groups: a fatigued group and a non-fatigued group. EDA signals were analyzed using the recently proposed cvxEDA model in order to derive phasic and tonic components and extract effective features to study ANS dynamics. Furthermore, HRV series were processed to derive several features defined in the time and frequency domains able to estimate the cardiovascular autonomic regulation. A statistical comparison between the fatigued and the non-fatigued groups was performed for each ANS feature, and two EDA features, i.e., the tonic variability and the phasic response rate, showed significant differences. Moreover, a pattern recognition procedure was applied to the combined EDA-HRV feature-set to automatically discern between fatigued and non-fatigued subjects. The proposed SVM classifier, following a recursive feature elimination stage, exhibited a maximal balanced accuracy of 83.33%. Our results demonstrate that muscle fatigue could be identified in a non-invasive fashion through effective EDA and HRV processing.

Assessment of muscle fatigue during isometric contraction using autonomic nervous system correlates

Greco, Alberto;Valenza, Gaetano;Bicchi, Antonio;Bianchi, Matteo;Scilingo, Enzo Pasquale
2019-01-01

Abstract

Muscle fatigue is a complex phenomenon that results in a reduction of the maximal voluntary force. Measuring muscle fatigue can be a challenging task that may involve the use of intramuscular electrodes (i.e., intramuscular electromyography (EMG)) or complex acquisition techniques. In this study, we propose an alternative non-invasive methodology for muscle fatigue detection relying on the analysis of two autonomic nervous system (ANS) correlates, i.e., the electrodermal activity (EDA) and heart rate variability (HRV) series. Based on standard surface EMG analysis, we divided 32 healthy subjects performing isometric biceps contraction into two groups: a fatigued group and a non-fatigued group. EDA signals were analyzed using the recently proposed cvxEDA model in order to derive phasic and tonic components and extract effective features to study ANS dynamics. Furthermore, HRV series were processed to derive several features defined in the time and frequency domains able to estimate the cardiovascular autonomic regulation. A statistical comparison between the fatigued and the non-fatigued groups was performed for each ANS feature, and two EDA features, i.e., the tonic variability and the phasic response rate, showed significant differences. Moreover, a pattern recognition procedure was applied to the combined EDA-HRV feature-set to automatically discern between fatigued and non-fatigued subjects. The proposed SVM classifier, following a recursive feature elimination stage, exhibited a maximal balanced accuracy of 83.33%. Our results demonstrate that muscle fatigue could be identified in a non-invasive fashion through effective EDA and HRV processing.
Greco, Alberto; Valenza, Gaetano; Bicchi, Antonio; Bianchi, Matteo; Scilingo, Enzo Pasquale
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/963711
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