Performance among different types of myocontrolled tasks is not related

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Studies on myocontrolled assistive technology (AT), such as myoelectric prostheses, as well as rehabilitation practice using myoelectric controlled interfaces, commonly assume the existence of a general myocontrol skill. This is the skill to control myosignals in such a way that they are employable in multiple tasks. If this skill exists, training any myocontrolled task using a certain set of muscles would improve the use of myocontrolled AT when the AT is controlled using these muscles. We examined whether a general myocontrol skill exists in myocontrolled tasks with and without a prosthesis. Unimpaired, right-handed adults used the sEMG of wrist flexors and extensors to perform several tasks in two experiments. In Experiment 1, twelve participants trained a myoelectric prosthesis-simulator task and a myocontrolled serious game for five consecutive days. Performance was compared between tasks and over the course of the training period. In Experiment 2, thirty-one participants performed five myocontrolled tasks consisting of two serious games, two prosthesis-simulator tasks and one digital signal matching task. All tasks were based on tasks currently used in clinical practice or research settings. Kendall rank correlation coefficients were computed to analyze correlations between the performance on different tasks. In Experiment 1 performance on the tasks showed no correlation for multiple outcome measures. Rankings within tasks did not change over the training period. In Experiment 2 performance did not correlate between any of the tasks. Since performance between different tasks did not correlate, results suggest that a general myocontrol skill does not exist and that each myocontrolled task requires a specific skill. Generalization of those findings to amputees using AT should be done with caution since in both experiments unimpaired participants were included. Moreover, training duration in Experiment 2 was short. Our findings indicate that training and assessment methods for myocontrolled AT use should focus on tasks frequently performed in daily life by the individual using the AT instead of merely focusing on training myosignals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102592
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Movement Science
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2020


  • Assistive technology
  • Electromyography
  • Motor learning
  • Myoelectric control
  • Perception-action
  • Prosthesis
  • EMG

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