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2022, FRONTIERS IN HUMAN NEUROSCIENCE, Pages - (volume: 16)

Cortico-muscular coupling to control a hybrid brain-computer interface for upper limb motor rehabilitation: A pseudo-online study on stroke patients (01a Articolo in rivista)

DE SETA Valeria, Toppi Jlenia, Colamarino Emma, Molle Rita, Castellani Filippo, Cincotti Febo, Mattia Donatella, Pichiorri Floriana

Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) systems for motor rehabilitation after stroke have proven their efficacy to enhance upper limb motor recovery by reinforcing motor related brain activity. Hybrid BCIs (h-BCIs) exploit both central and peripheral activation and are frequently used in assistive BCIs to improve classification performances. However, in a rehabilitative context, brain and muscular features should be extracted to promote a favorable motor outcome, reinforcing not only the volitional control in the central motor system, but also the effective projection of motor commands to target muscles, i.e., central-to-peripheral communication. For this reason, we considered cortico-muscular coupling (CMC) as a feature for a h-BCI devoted to post-stroke upper limb motor rehabilitation. In this study, we performed a pseudo-online analysis on 13 healthy participants (CTRL) and 12 stroke patients (EXP) during executed (CTRL, EXP unaffected arm) and attempted (EXP affected arm) hand grasping and extension to optimize the translation of CMC computation and CMC-based movement detection from offline to online. Results showed that updating the CMC computation every 125 ms (shift of the sliding window) and accumulating two predictions before a final classification decision were the best trade-off between accuracy and speed in movement classification, independently from the movement type. The pseudo-online analysis on stroke participants revealed that both attempted and executed grasping/extension can be classified through a CMC-based movement detection with high performances in terms of classification speed (mean delay between movement detection and EMG onset around 580 ms) and accuracy (hit rate around 85%). The results obtained by means of this analysis will ground the design of a novel non-invasive h-BCI in which the control feature is derived from a combined EEG and EMG connectivity pattern estimated during upper limb movement attempts.
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