Motion Browser: Visualizing and Understanding Complex Upper Limb Movement under Obstetrical Brachial Plexus Injuries

Gromit Yeuk Yin Chan, Luis Gustavo Nonato, Alice Chu, Preeti Raghavan, Viswanath Aluru, Cláudio T. Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The brachial plexus is a complex network of peripheral nerves that enables sensing from and control of the movements of the arms and hand. Nowadays, the coordination between the muscles to generate simple movements is still not well understood, hindering the knowledge of how to best treat patients with this type of peripheral nerve injury. To acquire enough information for medical data analysis, physicians conduct motion analysis assessments with patients to produce a rich dataset of electromyographic signals from multiple muscles recorded with joint movements during real-world tasks. However, tools for the analysis and visualization of the data in a succinct and interpretable manner are currently not available. Without the ability to integrate, compare, and compute multiple data sources in one platform, physicians can only compute simple statistical values to describe patient's behavior vaguely, which limits the possibility to answer clinical questions and generate hypotheses for research. To address this challenge, we have developed Motion Browser, an interactive visual analytics system which provides an efficient framework to extract and compare muscle activity patterns from the patient's limbs and coordinated views to help users analyze muscle signals, motion data, and video information to address different tasks. The system was developed as a result of a collaborative endeavor between computer scientists and orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation physicians. We present case studies showing physicians can utilize the information displayed to understand how individuals coordinate their muscles to initiate appropriate treatment and generate new hypotheses for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8809920
Pages (from-to)981-990
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Brachial Plexus Injuries
  • Medical Data Visualization
  • Multimodal Data
  • Time Series Data
  • Visual Analytics Application

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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