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      Mean frequency and signal amplitude of the surface EMG of the quadriceps muscles increase with increasing torque--a study using the continuous wavelet transform.

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          The continuous wavelet transform (CWT), a time-frequency method, was used when calculating mean frequency of the power spectrum (MNF) and signal amplitude (RMS) of the surface EMG to investigate their relationships to force during a gradually increasing knee extension (ramp). Based upon the CWT, MNF was redefined to include time dependence on the EMG signal frequency contents, the short-time MNF (STMNF). Surface EMG was recorded from vastus lateralis, rectus femoris and vastus medialis in 21 clinically healthy subjects during a brief, gradually increasing contraction up to 100% of a maximum voluntary contraction (MVC), with a duration of approximately 10 s. The relationships between the EMG variables and force using linear regression were determined for each subject. For vastus lateralis, we also investigated if certain aspects of the muscle morphology (i.e., proportions and areas of different fibre types) influenced the EMG-force relationship. For the majority of subjects (17-18 out of 21 subjects) there were significant positive correlations between STMNF and force in the three muscles. No sex differences were found in intercepts or regression coefficients of STMNF. The muscle morphology had a significant influence on the STMNF-force intercept and the regression coefficient. Positive and highly significant linear correlations between RMS and force were found for all subjects and all three muscles.In conclusion, time frequency methods can be applied when investigating EMG during brief contractions associated with non-stationarity. In a great majority of the subjects, and in the three muscles, significant linear force dependencies were found for STMNF. Thus, when evaluating muscle fatigue, e.g., in ergonomic situations, it is important to consider the force level as one factor that can influence the results. Morphological variables (fibre proportions and fibre areas) influenced the STMNF-force relationship in vastus lateralis.

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          Author and article information

          J Electromyogr Kinesiol
          Journal of electromyography and kinesiology : official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology
          Apr 2001
          : 11
          : 2
          [1 ] Department of Biomedical Engineering and Informatics, University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden.


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