Intra-Subject Consistency during Locomotion: Similarity in Shared and Subject-Specific Muscle Synergies.

Abstract:

:Human locomotion is a complex motor task. Previous research hypothesized that muscle synergies reflect the modular control of muscle groups operated by the Central Nervous System (CNS). Despite the high stride-to-stride variability characterizing human gait, most studies analyze only a few strides. This may be limiting, because the intra-subject variability of motor output is neglected. This gap could be filled by recording and analyzing many gait cycles during a single walking task. In this way, it can be investigated if CNS recruits the same muscle synergies consistently or if different strategies are adopted during the locomotion task. The aim of this work is to investigate the intra-subject consistency of muscle synergies during overground walking. Twelve young healthy volunteers were instructed to walk for 5 min at their natural pace. On the average, 181 ± 10 gait cycles were analyzed for each subject. Surface electromyography was recorded from 12 muscles of the dominant lower limb and the trunk. Gait cycles were grouped into subgroups containing 10 gait cycles each. The consistency of the muscle synergies extracted during the gait trial was assessed by measuring cosine similarity (CS) of muscle weights vectors, and zero-lag cross-correlation (CC) of activation signals. The average intra-subject CS and CC were 0.94 ± 0.10 and 0.96 ± 0.06, respectively. We found five synergies shared by all the subjects: high consistency values were found for these synergies (CS = 0.96 ± 0.05, CC = 0.97 ± 0.03). In addition, we found 10 subject-specific synergies. These synergies were less consistent (CS = 0.80 ± 0.20, CC = 0.89 ± 0.14). In conclusion, our results demonstrated that shared muscle synergies were highly consistent during walking. Subject-specific muscle synergies were also consistent, although to a lesser extent.

journal_name

Front Hum Neurosci

authors

Rimini D,Agostini V,Knaflitz M

doi

10.3389/fnhum.2017.00586

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2017-12-04 00:00:00

pages

586

issn

1662-5161

journal_volume

11

pub_type

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