Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM) for alpha-based statistical analyses of multi-muscle EMG time-series


Multi-muscle EMG time-series are highly correlated and time dependent yet traditional statistical analysis of scalars from an EMG time-series fails to account for such dependencies. This paper promotes the use of SPM vector-field analysis for the generalised analysis of EMG time-series. We reanalysed a publicly available dataset of Young versus Adult EMG gait data to contrast scalar and SPM vector-field analysis. Independent scalar analyses of EMG data between 35% and 45% stance phase showed no statistical differences between the Young and Adult groups. SPM vector-field analysis did however identify statistical differences within this time period. As scalar analysis failed to consider the multi-muscle and time dependence of the EMG time-series it exhibited Type II error. SPM vector-field analysis on the other hand accounts for both dependencies whilst tightly controlling for Type I and Type II error making it highly applicable to EMG data analysis. Additionally SPM vector-field analysis is generalizable to linear and non-linear parametric and non-parametric statistical models, allowing its use under constraints that are common to electromyography and kinesiology.

Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology