Despite the advances in the field of brain computer interfaces (BCI), the use of the sole electroencephalography (EEG) signal to control walking rehabilitation devices is currently not viable in clinical settings, due to its unreliability. Hybrid interfaces (hHMIs) represent a very recent solution to enhance the performance of single-signal approaches. These are classification approaches that combine multiple human-machine interfaces, normally including at least one BCI with other biosignals, such as the electromyography (EMG). However, their use for the decoding of gait activity is still limited. In this work, we propose and evaluate a hybrid human-machine interface (hHMI) to decode walking phases of both legs from the Bayesian fusion of EEG and EMG signals. The proposed hHMI significantly outperforms its single-signal counterparts, by providing high and stable performance even when the reliability of the muscular activity is compromised temporarily (e.g., fatigue) or permanently (e.g., weakness). Indeed, the hybrid approach shows a smooth degradation of classification performance after temporary EMG alteration, with more than 75% of accuracy at 30% of EMG amplitude, with respect to the EMG classifier whose performance decreases below 60% of accuracy. Moreover, the fusion of EEG and EMG information helps keeping a stable recognition rate of each gait phase of more than 80% independently on the permanent level of EMG degradation. From our study and findings from the literature, we suggest that the use of hybrid interfaces may be the key to enhance the usability of technologies restoring or assisting the locomotion on a wider population of patients in clinical applications and outside the laboratory environment.

Hybrid Human-Machine Interface for Gait Decoding Through Bayesian Fusion of EEG and EMG Classifiers

Stefano Tortora
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Luca Tonin
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Emanuele Menegatti
Supervision
;
2020

Abstract

Despite the advances in the field of brain computer interfaces (BCI), the use of the sole electroencephalography (EEG) signal to control walking rehabilitation devices is currently not viable in clinical settings, due to its unreliability. Hybrid interfaces (hHMIs) represent a very recent solution to enhance the performance of single-signal approaches. These are classification approaches that combine multiple human-machine interfaces, normally including at least one BCI with other biosignals, such as the electromyography (EMG). However, their use for the decoding of gait activity is still limited. In this work, we propose and evaluate a hybrid human-machine interface (hHMI) to decode walking phases of both legs from the Bayesian fusion of EEG and EMG signals. The proposed hHMI significantly outperforms its single-signal counterparts, by providing high and stable performance even when the reliability of the muscular activity is compromised temporarily (e.g., fatigue) or permanently (e.g., weakness). Indeed, the hybrid approach shows a smooth degradation of classification performance after temporary EMG alteration, with more than 75% of accuracy at 30% of EMG amplitude, with respect to the EMG classifier whose performance decreases below 60% of accuracy. Moreover, the fusion of EEG and EMG information helps keeping a stable recognition rate of each gait phase of more than 80% independently on the permanent level of EMG degradation. From our study and findings from the literature, we suggest that the use of hybrid interfaces may be the key to enhance the usability of technologies restoring or assisting the locomotion on a wider population of patients in clinical applications and outside the laboratory environment.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3359191
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