Transform electromyographic signals into music

Posted on Feb 4, 2014

Developers of human-computer interface technologies have recently been focusing on the use of bio-electrical signals (eye movement, electrical activity of muscles and brain) as inputs to control devices in order to increase the capacity of signal processing of the central nervous system (enhanced perception and control). The design of human-comput

Transform electromyographic signals into music
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er interfaces is intended to adapt the existing technology to human physiology with devices that are sensitive, interactive and easy to use. Improving the quality of life through the use of medicine, education, recreation and communication is a social priority; in particular the use of games or music in rehabilitation may provide a better approach when working with children or patients with reduced cognitive abilities. Surface electromyography (sEMG) consists of measuring the electrical activity of muscles during their contraction (Merletti et al. , 2010). The control of prostheses with myoelectric signals is a current practice (Parker and Scott 1986). Some of the prostheses controlled by myoelectric signals that are available today on the market were developed in collaboration with different universities (MIT, Boston, Utah, New Brunswick, Michigan). However, the EMG signals have in most cases been used as a switching control. For example, in 1994 Dave Warner and colleagues described the development of music devices controlled by the muscles  using the timing of muscle activation as a control to turn a device on or off. In a study published thirty years ago (Asato et al. , 1981), auditory feedback (sounds modulated in frequency by EMG) was successfully used in the neuromuscular re-education of mentally retarded patients. This use of muscle sounds in rehabilitation is interesting since it allows the patient to have an...

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