A generic neural network model to estimate populational neural activity for robust neural decoding

Rinku Roy, Feng Xu, Derek G. Kamper, Xiaogang Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Robust and continuous neural decoding is crucial for reliable and intuitive neural-machine interactions. This study developed a novel generic neural network model that can continuously predict finger forces based on decoded populational motoneuron firing activities. Method: We implemented convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to learn the mapping from high-density electromyogram (HD-EMG) signals of forearm muscles to populational motoneuron firing frequency. We first extracted the spatiotemporal features of EMG energy and frequency maps to improve learning efficiency, given that EMG signals are intrinsically stochastic. We then established a generic neural network model by training on the populational neuron firing activities of multiple participants. Using a regression model, we continuously predicted individual finger forces in real-time. We compared the force prediction performance with two state-of-the-art approaches: a neuron-decomposition method and a classic EMG-amplitude method. Results: Our results showed that the generic CNN model outperformed the subject-specific neuron-decomposition method and the EMG-amplitude method, as demonstrated by a higher correlation coefficient between the measured and predicted forces, and a lower force prediction error. In addition, the CNN model revealed more stable force prediction performance over time. Conclusions: Overall, our approach provides a generic and efficient continuous neural decoding approach for real-time and robust human-robot interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105359
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - May 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications


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