Synergistic Upper-Limb Functional Muscle Connectivity Using Acoustic Mechanomyography

C. Sebastian Mancero Castillo, Ravi Vaidyanathan, S. Farokh Atashzar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Functional muscle network is a critical concept in describing functional synergistic muscle synchronization and functional connectivity needed for the execution of complex motor tasks. Muscle network is typically derived from decomposition of intermuscular coherence (IMC) at different frequency bands of multichannel electromyography (EMG) measurements, which potentially limits out-of-clinic applications. In this investigation, we introduce muscle network analysis to assess the functional coordination and functional connectivity of muscles based on mechanomyography (MMG). We focus on a targeted group of muscles vital for activities of daily living (ADLs) in the upper-limb. Functional muscle networks are evaluated for ten able-bodied participants and three upper-limb amputees. Muscle activity was acquired from a custom-made wearable armband of MMG sensors placed over four superficial muscles around the forearm (flexor carpi radialis (FCR), brachioradialis (BR), extensor digitorum communis (EDC), and flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU)) while participants performed four different hand gestures. Muscle connectivity analysis at multiple frequency bands shows significant topographical differences across gestures for low (i.e., < 5 Hz) and high (i.e., > 12 Hz) activation frequencies as well as observable network differences between amputee and non-amputee subjects. Results demonstrate MMG can be used for the analysis of functional muscle connectivity and mapping of synergistic functional synchronization of upper-limb muscles in complex movement tasks. The new physiological modality provides key insights into neural circuitry of motor coordination. Findings further offer the concomitant outcomes of demonstrating feasibility of MMG to map muscle coherence from a neurophysiological perspective and providing a mechanistic basis for its translation in human-robot interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2569-2580
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • Biomechanics
  • coherence analysis
  • functional muscle connectivity
  • mechanomyography (MMG)
  • muscle networks
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Forearm/physiology
  • Humans
  • Upper Extremity
  • Acoustics
  • Electromyography
  • Muscle, Skeletal/physiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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