Research Topic

Understanding Altered Muscle Activation After Central or Peripheral Neuromuscular Injuries

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Appropriate muscle activation plays a critical role in our daily motor activities. Therefore, quantification of muscle activation becomes an important way for diagnosing/assessing neuromuscular conditions, interfacing with machines, and assessing the efficacy of rehabilitation or assistive strategies. To ...

Appropriate muscle activation plays a critical role in our daily motor activities. Therefore, quantification of muscle activation becomes an important way for diagnosing/assessing neuromuscular conditions, interfacing with machines, and assessing the efficacy of rehabilitation or assistive strategies. To quantify muscle activation, different electromyography (EMG) recording/processing techniques, from the single motor unit level to the muscle group level, have been widely used. Various muscle imaging techniques, such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, are also applied to capture properties that can influence muscle activation. Meanwhile, different probing methods, including transcranial magnetic stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation, are also adopted to understand the underlying mechanisms of impaired muscle activation. All of these muscle-activation-based methods open a valuable window to investigate the neural mechanisms due to injury either at a level of the central or peripheral nervous system.

On the other hand, the use of EMG-based methods in the application of neuromuscular studies is also facing great challenge, mainly because neurological conditions (such as a stroke or cerebral palsy) or trauma (such as a spinal cord injury or limb amputation) can adversely alter muscle activation. Although the injury occurs locally, it is believed that wide spread changes in the neuromuscular system can alter muscle activation. Therefore, careful selection of appropriate methods and interpretation of results are required.

This Research Topic intends to collect novel methods/results of muscle activation in various basic-scientific or clinical researches following central or peripheral neuromuscular injuries. We encourage submissions of all article types that address this research problem with the following topics. Other released research focusing on this particular problem is also welcome including the following:

o Techniques that quantify muscle activation, including electromyogram recordings, and different modalities of neuromuscular imaging techniques
o Novel recording and analytical approaches that can help understand the origins of altered muscle activation
o Computational modeling approaches from neuronal to system levels that can help understand altered muscle activation
o Novel neural decoding methods for human-machine interactions that can cope with disordered muscle activation
o Approaches that quantify muscle activation in the process of rehabilitation or assistance of various forms.
o Rehabilitation or assistive techniques that help improve the impaired muscle activation.


Keywords: Muscle, Muscle Activation, Neuromuscular Disorder, Neural Rehabilitation, Human Machine Interface


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