Regression-based reconstruction of human grip force trajectories with noninvasive scalp electroencephalography

Andrew Y. Paek, Alycia Gailey, Pranav J. Parikh, Marco Santello, Jose L. Contreras-Vidal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective. Robotic devices show promise in restoring motor abilities to individuals with upper limb paresis or amputations. However, these systems are still limited in obtaining reliable signals from the human body to effectively control them. We propose that these robotic devices can be controlled through scalp electroencephalography (EEG), a neuroimaging technique that can capture motor commands through brain rhythms. In this work, we studied if EEG can be used to predict an individual's grip forces produced by the hand. Approach. Brain rhythms and grip forces were recorded from able-bodied human subjects while they performed an isometric force production task and a grasp-And-lift task. Grip force trajectories were reconstructed with a linear model that incorporated delta band (0.1-1 Hz) voltage potentials and spectral power in the theta (4-8 Hz), alpha (8-13 Hz), beta (13-30 Hz), low gamma (30-50 Hz), mid gamma (70-110 Hz), and high gamma (130-200 Hz) bands. Trajectory reconstruction models were trained and tested through 10-fold cross validation. Main results. Modest accuracies were attained in reconstructing grip forces during isometric force production (median r = 0.42), and the grasp-And-lift task (median r = 0.51). Predicted trajectories were also analyzed further to assess the linear models' performance based on task requirements. For the isometric force production task, we found that predicted grip trajectories did not yield static grip forces that were distinguishable in magnitude across three task conditions. For the grasp-And-lift task, we estimate there would be an approximate 25% error in distinguishing when a user wants to hold or release an object. Significance. These findings indicate that EEG, a noninvasive neuroimaging modality, has predictive information in neural features associated with finger force control and can potentially contribute to the development of brain machine interfaces (BMI) for performing activities of daily living.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number066030
JournalJournal of neural engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 6 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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