Scientific article

Consistency of muscle activation signatures across different walking speeds

Published inGait & posture, vol. 107, p. 155-161
Publication date2024-01
First online date2023-09-06

Background: Using a machine learning algorithm, individuals can be accurately identified from their muscle activation patterns during gait, leading to the concept of individual muscle activation signatures.

Research question: Are muscle activation signatures robust across different walking speeds?

Methods: We used an open dataset containing electromyographic (EMG) signals from 8 lower limb muscles in 50 asymptomatic adults walking at 5 speeds (extremely slow, very slow, slow, spontaneous, and fast). A machine learning approach classified the EMG profiles based on similar (intra-speed classification) or different (inter-speed classification) walking speeds as training and testing conditions.

Results: Intra-speed median classification rates of muscle activation profiles increased with walking speed, from 92 % for extremely slow, to 100 % for self-selected fast walking conditions. Inter-speed median classification rates increased when the speed of the training condition was closer to that of the testing condition. Higher median classification rates were found across slow, spontaneous, and fast walking speed conditions, from 56 % to 96 %, compared with classification rates involving extremely and very slow walking speed conditions, from 6 % to 62 %.

Significance: Our findings reveal that i) muscle activation signatures are detectable for a large range of walking speeds, even those involving different gait strategies (intra-speed median classification rates from 92 % to 100 %), and ii) muscle activation signatures observed during very low walking speeds are not consistent with those observed at higher speeds, suggesting a difference in motor control strategy. Caution should therefore be exercised when assessing gait deviations of a slow walking patient against a normative database obtained at higher speed. Identifying the robustness of individual muscle activation signatures across different movements could help in detecting changes in motor control, otherwise difficult to detect on classical time-varying EMG patterns.

  • Electromyography
  • Gait
  • Muscle coordination
  • Support vector machines
  • Adult
  • Gait / physiology
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Walking / physiology
  • Walking Speed
Citation (ISO format)
SARCHER, Aurélie et al. Consistency of muscle activation signatures across different walking speeds. In: Gait & posture, 2024, vol. 107, p. 155–161. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2023.09.001
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Article (Published version)
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ISSN of the journal0966-6362

Technical informations

Creation11/02/2023 9:19:29 AM
First validation03/27/2024 5:08:23 PM
Update time03/27/2024 5:08:23 PM
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