Chicago Ridge, IL, United States
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PubMed | University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Hefei University and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Chicago
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in human neuroscience | Year: 2015

The objective of this study was to apply a novel multidimensional motor unit number index (MD-MUNIX) technique to examine hand muscles in patients with incomplete cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). The MD-MUNIX was estimated from the compound muscle action potential (CMAP) and different levels of surface interference pattern electromyogram (EMG) at multiple directions of voluntary isometric muscle contraction. The MD-MUNIX was applied in the first dorsal interosseous (FDI), thenar and hypothenar muscles of SCI (n = 12) and healthy control (n = 12) subjects. The results showed that the SCI subjects had significantly smaller CMAP and MD-MUNIX in all the three examined muscles, compared to those derived from the healthy control subjects. The multidimensional motor unit size index (MD-MUSIX) demonstrated significantly larger values for the FDI and hypothenar muscles in SCI subjects than those from healthy control subjects, whereas the MD-MUSIX enlargement was marginally significant for the thenar muscles. The findings from the MD-MUNIX analyses provide an evidence of motor unit loss in hand muscles of cervical SCI patients, contributing to hand function deterioration.


PubMed | Autonomous University of Madrid, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Chicago and University of IllinoisUrbana
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in human neuroscience | Year: 2016

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to an individuals ability to process and respond to emotions, including recognizing the expression of emotions in others, using emotions to enhance thought and decision making, and regulating emotions to drive effective behaviors. Despite their importance for goal-directed social behavior, little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying specific facets of EI. Here, we report findings from a study investigating the neural bases of these specific components for EI in a sample of 130 combat veterans with penetrating traumatic brain injury. We examined the neural mechanisms underlying experiential (perceiving and using emotional information) and strategic (understanding and managing emotions) facets of EI. Factor scores were submitted to voxel-based lesion symptom mapping to elucidate their neural substrates. The results indicate that two facets of EI (perceiving and managing emotions) engage common and distinctive neural systems, with shared dependence on the social knowledge network, and selective engagement of the orbitofrontal and parietal cortex for strategic aspects of emotional information processing. The observed pattern of findings suggests that sub-facets of experiential and strategic EI can be characterized as separable but related processes that depend upon a core network of brain structures within frontal, temporal and parietal cortex.


PubMed | Chinese University of Hong Kong, Northwestern University and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Chicago
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in physiology | Year: 2015

The extensor digitorum communis muscle plays an important role in hand dexterity during object manipulations. This multi-tendinous muscle is believed to be controlled through separate motoneuron pools, thereby forming different compartments that control individual digits. However, due to the complex anatomical variations across individuals and the flexibility of neural control strategies, the spatial activation patterns of the extensor digitorum communis compartments during individual finger extension have not been fully tracked under different task conditions. The objective of this study was to quantify the global spatial activation patterns of the extensor digitorum communis using high-density (7 9) surface electromyogram (EMG) recordings. The muscle activation map (based on the root mean square of the EMG) was constructed when subjects performed individual four finger extensions at the metacarpophalangeal joint, at different effort levels and under different finger constraints (static and dynamic). Our results revealed distinct activation patterns during individual finger extensions, especially between index and middle finger extensions, although the activation between ring and little finger extensions showed strong covariance. The activation map was relatively consistent at different muscle contraction levels and for different finger constraint conditions. We also found that distinct activation patterns were more discernible in the proximal-distal direction than in the radial-ulnar direction. The global spatial activation map utilizing surface grid EMG of the extensor digitorum communis muscle provides information for localizing individual compartments of the extensor muscle during finger extensions. This is of potential value for identifying more selective control input for assistive devices. Such information can also provide a basis for understanding hand impairment in individuals with neural disorders.


PubMed | Northwestern University and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Chicago
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in human neuroscience | Year: 2014

In most skeletal muscles, force is generated by a combination of motor unit (MU) recruitment and increases in the firing rate of previously active MUs. Two contrasting patterns of firing rate organization have been reported. In the first pattern, the earliest recruited MUs reach the highest firing rates as force is increased, and later recruited MUs fire at lower rates. When firing rate of multiple MUs are superimposed, these rate trajectories form a concentric layered profile termed onion skin. In the second pattern, called reverse onion skin, later recruited MUs reach higher firing rates, and crossing of firing rate trajectories for recorded MUs is common (although such trajectories are assembled routinely from different trials). Our present study examined the firing rate organization of concurrently active MUs of the first dorsal interosseous muscle during serial, step-like increases in isometric abduction forces. We used a surface sensor array coupled with MU discrimination algorithms to characterize MU firing patterns. Our objective was to determine whether onion skin profiles are contingent upon the force trajectory of the motor task, examined here using step-like increases of force output, and also whether they are manifested at different force levels. Our results revealed that the overall onion skin firing rate profile was retained as the force level increased with each force step up to 15% MVC. However, the distribution of firing rates across MUs was compressed with increasing force, and overlapping firing rate of units were observed. This rate compression was largely due to rate saturation of the relatively high frequency discharging MUs. Our results reflect flexible firing patterns across MUs at different levels of excitation drive. It is also evident that many units did not follow all the step increases consistently. This failure to track firing rate increases at higher forces could be due to an intrinsically mediated saturation of firing rates for the low threshold MUs, or potentially to some form of inhibitory interactions between active MUs as the level of excitation of the MU pool is progressively increased.

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