Alessio Murgia

Alessio Murgia
University of Groningen | RUG · Department of Human Movement Sciences

PhD

About

54
Publications
7,699
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654
Citations
Introduction
In my research I focus on the neuromechanical changes that underlie adaptation, for example after rehabilitation or as a consequence of aging or an impairment. In addition, using the principles of biomedical engineering and computer science I aim to develop technologies for rehabilitation and health monitoring. Typical examples of my research are the study of upper limb biomechanics of people with dystrophy and the performance analysis of pattern-recognition upper limb prostheses.
Additional affiliations
October 2012 - July 2021
University of Groningen
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
April 2009 - September 2012
Maastricht University
January 2002 - October 2008
University of Reading
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (54)
Conference Paper
Introduction. Facioscapulohumeral Dystrophy (FSHD) is a neuromuscular disorder characterized by muscles strength loss in the upper extremity and compensatory muscle activations [1]. Dynamic arm supports compensate for gravity thus reducing muscle efforts and enhancing task performance. It is postulated that the use of an arm support in persons wit...
Article
Full-text available
Background Age-related changes in muscle properties affect daily functioning, therefore a reliable assessment of such properties is required. We examined the effects of age on reliability, muscle quality and interrelation among muscle architecture (MA) parameters of the gastrocnemius medialis (GM), tibialis anterior (TA), and vastus lateralis (VL)...
Article
Older compared with younger adults walk with different configurations of mechanical joint work and greater muscle activation but it is unclear if age, walking speed, and slope would each affect the relationship between muscle activation and net joint work. We hypothesized that a unit increase in positive but not negative net joint work requires gre...
Article
Full-text available
Background Upper limb prosthetics with multiple degrees of freedom (DoFs) are still mostly operated through the clinical standard Direct Control scheme. Machine learning control, on the other hand, allows controlling multiple DoFs although it requires separable and consistent electromyogram (EMG) patterns. Whereas user training can improve EMG patt...
Article
Full-text available
In myoelectric machine learning (ML) based control, it has been demonstrated that control performance usually increases with training, but it remains largely unknown which underlying factors govern these improvements. It has been suggested that the increase in performance originates from changes in characteristics of the Electromyography (EMG) patt...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Neuromuscular disorders are characterised by muscle weakness that limits upper extremity mobility, but can be alleviated with dynamic arm support devices. Current research highlights the importance and difficulties of evidence-based recommendations for device development. We aim to provide research recommendations primarily concerning upp...
Article
Full-text available
Pattern-Recognition (PR) control of upper-limb prosthetics has shown inconsistent results outside lab settings, which might be due to the inadequacy of users’ electromyogram (EMG) patterns. To improve the separability and consistency of their EMG, users can receive training. Conventional training uses an internal focus of attention as prosthesis us...
Article
Full-text available
Neuromuscular disorders cause progressive muscular weakness, which limits upper extremity mobility and performance during activities of daily life. Dynamic arm supports can improve mobility and quality of life. However, their use is often discontinued over time for unclear reasons. This study aimed to evaluate whether users of dynamic arm supports...
Preprint
Full-text available
Neuromuscular disorders cause progressive muscular weakness, which limits upper extremity mobility and performance during activities of daily life. A dynamic arm support can improve mobility and quality of life. However, their use is often discontinued over time for unclear reasons. This study aimed to evaluate whether users of dynamic arm supports...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: When evaluating methods for machine-learning controlled prosthetic hands, able-bodied participants are often recruited, for practical reasons, instead of participants with upper limb absence (ULA). However, able-bodied participants have been shown to often perform myoelectric control tasks better than participants with ULA. It has been...
Article
A joint moment also causes motion at other joints of the body. This joint coupling-perspective allows more insight into two age-related phenomena during gait. First, whether increased hip kinetic output compensates for decreased ankle kinetic output during positive joint work. Second, whether preserved joint kinetic patterns during negative joint w...
Article
Full-text available
There was an error in the calculation of the standard deviation of the continuous relative phase measure (SDϕ). The standard deviation was calculated on the absoluted continuous relative phase values. Therefore, the reported SDϕ‐values were underestimated. As such, in the present erratum we based the relation between crew coordination consistency a...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To describe users' and therapists' opinions on multi-function myoelectric upper limb prostheses with conventional control and pattern recognition control. Design: Qualitative interview study. Settings: Two rehabilitation institutions in the Netherlands and one in Austria. Subjects: The study cohort consisted of 15 prosthesis users...
Article
Full-text available
Human-machine interfaces have not yet advanced to enable intuitive control of multiple degrees of freedom as offered by modern myoelectric prosthetic hands. Pattern Recognition (PR) control has been proposed to make human-machine interfaces in myoelectric prosthetic hands more intuitive, but it requires the user to generate high-quality, i.e., cons...
Article
Facioscapulohumeral Dystrophy (FSHD) is a progressive muscle-wasting disease which leads to a decline in upper extremity functionality. Although the scapulohumeral joint’s stability and functionality are affected, evidence on the synergetic control of the shoulder muscles in FSHD individuals is still lacking. The aim of this study is to understand...
Conference Paper
In myocontrol of upper limb prostheses using machine learning techniques, a basic requirement is the user’s ability to generate sufficiently distinct surface electromyography (sEMG) signals for different movement intents, over a wide range of arm orientations. Experiments with regard to training this ability are often conducted on able bodied, but...
Conference Paper
Machine learning techniques have been proposed for the control of upper-limb prosthetics. Electromyography (EMG) signals from able-bodied participants are often used to test new algorithms and techniques. Restricting the unaffected hand has been suggested to best mimic the EMG features of the affected limb. It remains unclear whether this results i...
Conference Paper
PURPOSE: Literature suggests that improvements in control of a pattern-recognition based myoelectric device are governed by increased distinctness of surface EMG patterns (dEMG). We investigated the relation between control ability and dEMG. METHODS: Able-bodied participants learned to control a pattern-recognition based myoelectric device over 5...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Advanced age brings a distal-to-proximal redistribution of positive joint work during walking that is relevant to walking performance and economy. It is unclear whether negative joint work is similarly redistributed in old age. Negative work can affect positive work through elastic energy return in gait. We determined the effects of...
Article
Age-related decline in muscle strength can compromise shoulder function, which could increase the effort needed to perform activities of daily living (ADLs). The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to determine for the first time the relative shoulder effort during ADLs in healthy young and older adults. Ten healthy young adults and ten healt...
Conference Paper
Introduction: Facioscapulohumeral Dystrophy (FSHD) is a progressive muscle wasting disease, which primarily affects muscles in the face and shoulder areas. Typical problems in the shoulder area are scapular winging, joint instability, and a decline in joint range of motion [1]. As for other joints, the muscles of the shoulder joint are activated as...
Conference Paper
Introduction When walking at a similar habitual speed, older compared with younger adults perform less positive (i.e., concentric) ankle work and more positive hip work, a phenomenon known as the distal-to-proximal (DP) shift of concentric muscle function[1]. Because the magnitude and rate at which negative (i.e., eccentric) work is performed can a...
Article
Objective: The goal of the current study was to determine whether and how much the stabilizing role of the shoulder muscles changes as a function of humeral elevation and the plane of elevation. Methods: A musculoskeletal model, comprising a personalized scapulohumeral rhythm, was used to calculate the ratio of shear over compressive force (stab...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Strength training can increase function in individuals with stroke. However it is unclear which type of strength training is most effective and feasible. Objective: To assess the effect and feasibility of an intervention combining eccentric and task-oriented strength training in individuals with chronic stroke. Methods: Eleven part...
Article
In crew rowing, crew members need to mutually synchronize their movements to achieve optimal crew performance. Intuitively, poor crew coordination is often deemed to involve additional boat movements such as surge velocity fluctuations, heave, pitch, and roll, which would imply lower efficiency (eg, due to increased hydrodynamic drag). The aim of t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In crew rowing, agents need to coordinate their movements while physically connected through the boat they share. Modelling a rowing crew as a system of coupled oscillators predicts that the stability of crew coordination decreases with increasing stroke rate. However, rowing literature suggests that crew synchronisation might actually improve at h...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Old referenced to young adults show a relative maintenance of maximal eccentric (RELM) compared to concentric muscle torque: ∼76 and ∼59%, respectively. However, it is unknown if RELM affords functional benefits in old adults. Objective: We examined if there is specificity between the two types of peak quadriceps torque (i.e., concen...
Article
Hand exercises are often part of the treatment of hand rheumatoid arthritis; however, it is still unclear whether and what type of exercises is effective in the treatment of this condition. Therefore, a systematic review into the effectiveness of hand exercises in the treatment of hand rheumatoid arthritis has been performed. Studies were identifie...
Article
To compare the kinematics and muscle activity of facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD) subjects with healthy controls during the performance of standardized upper extremity tasks. . DESIGN: Exploratory case-control study. The study was performed in the movement laboratory of the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands. 11 subjects with FSHD and 8...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Neuralgic Amyotrophy (NA) is characterized by neuropathic pain, subsequent patchy paresis and possible sensory loss in the upper extremity. Many patients experience difficulties in performing activities of daily life and are unable to resume work. We developed a combined physical- and occupational therapy program for patients recoverin...
Article
Full-text available
Muscular dystrophies (MDs) are characterized by progressive muscle wasting and weakness. Several studies have been conducted to investigate the influence of arm supports in an attempt to restore arm function. Lowering the load allows the user to employ the residual muscle force for movement as well as for posture stabilization. In this pilot study...
Article
Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophies (LGMD) mainly involve the pelvic and shoulder girdle muscles. One of the major problems is limitations in daily activities. The natural course of the diseases is described before, and research is done to investigate functional ability of walking. However, little is known about functional abilities of the arms. Arm f...
Article
Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is a progressive muscular dystrophy. One of the major problems is limitations in performing daily activities. The natural course of the disease is described before. However, little is known about functional abilities of the arms, which is important in performing many daily activities. Arm functionality...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the management of multiple sclerosis (MS) moderate exercise has been shown to improve the patients’ physical fitness, walking as well as quality of life, particularly through a combination of resistance and endurance training . Alternative forms of exercise training both for upper and lower limbs include the use of robot-mediated therapy, whic...
Article
We present a novel way of interacting with an immersive virtual environment which involves inexpensive motion-capture using the Wii Remote®. A software framework is also presented to visualize and share this information across two remote CAVETM-like environments. The resulting application can be used to assist rehabilitation by sending motion infor...
Article
Full-text available
A growing awareness of the potential for machine-mediated neurorehabilitation has led to several novel concepts for delivering these therapies. To get from laboratory demonstrators and prototypes to the point where the concepts can be used by clinicians in practice still requires significant additional effort, not least in the requirement to assess...
Article
Lateral epicondylitis (LE) is hypothesized to occur as a result of repetitive, strenuous and abnormal postural activities of the elbow and wrist. There is still a lack of understanding of how wrist and forearm positions contribute to this condition during common manual tasks. In this study the wrist kinematics and the wrist extensors' musculotendon...
Article
We present a device for recording and analyzing upper limb movements and muscle activities in a single unit. The device's outputs are related to aspects of clinical assessment such as joint coordination, fatigue and muscle synergies. A comparison with an optoelectronic motion capture system was also carried out during a hand to mouth and a hand to...
Article
A problem that is common to the study of upper limb kinematics and gait analysis is the translation of the evidence from kinematic measurements into easily interpretable information on the status of the patient, such as the amount of compensation or lack of motion. In this study parameters that can be helpful in the rapid and clear identification o...
Article
Full-text available
The Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure (SHAP) was devised to assess quantitatively the functional range of injured and healthy adult hands. It was designed to be a practical tool for use in a busy clinical setting; thus, it was made simple to use and easy to interpret. This paper describes four examples of its use: before and after a surgical pr...
Conference Paper
In face-to-face collaboration, eye gaze is used both as a bidirectional signal to monitor and indicate focus of attention and action, as well as a resource to manage the interaction. In remote interaction supported by Immersive Collaborative Virtual Environments (ICVEs), embodied avatars representing and controlled by each participant share a virtu...
Article
It is reported in the literature that distances from the observer are underestimated more in virtual environments (VEs) than in physical world conditions. On the other hand estimation of size in VEs is quite accurate and follows a size-constancy law when rich cues are present. This study investigates how estimation of distance in a CAVE(TM) environ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Participants' eye-gaze is generally not captured or represented in immersive collaborative virtual environment (ICVE) systems. We present EyeCVE, which uses mobile eye-trackers to drive the gaze of each participant's virtual avatar, thus supporting remote mutual eye-contact and awareness of others' gaze in a perceptually unfragmented shared virtual...
Conference Paper
Eye gaze is an important conversational resource that until now could only be supported across a distance if people were rooted to the spot. We introduce EyeCVE, the worldpsilas first tele-presence system that allows people in different physical locations to not only see what each other are doing but follow each otherpsilas eyes, even when walking...
Conference Paper
A desktop tool for replay and analysis of gaze-enhanced multiparty virtual collaborative sessions is described. We linked three CAVETM-like environments, creating a multiparty collaborative virtual space where avatars are animated with 3D gaze as well as head and hand motions in real time. Log files are recorded for subsequent playback and analysis...
Article
Full-text available
We present a novel way of interacting with an immersive virtual environment which involves inexpensive motion-capture using the Wii Remote. A software framework is also presented to visualize and share this information across two remote CAVE-like environments. The resulting applications can be used to assist rehabilitation by sending motion informa...
Conference Paper
A desktop tool for replay and analysis of gaze-enhanced multiparty virtual collaborative sessions is described. We linked three CAVETM-like environments, creating a multiparty collaborative virtual space where avatars are animated with 3D gaze as well as head and hand motions in real time. Log files are recorded for subsequent playback and analysis...
Conference Paper
AIMS: To detect discriminant features in the cyclic kinematic patterns generated during selected upper limb activities of daily living by a normative and a distal radial fracture group, so as to reduce the multidimensionality of the kinematic analysis. METHODS: Cyclic activities of daily living were performed using a protocol that allowed comparis...
Conference Paper
Background: Motion analysis techniques provide an insight into the capabilities of a persons locomotor system by the use of the cyclic nature of gait to allow temporal scaling to remove variability. Hypotheses: Adopting Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure (SHAP) as the driving tasks constrains the motion sufficiently to use similar techniques emp...
Conference Paper
Introduction: The use of functional activities to describe upper limbs movements is considered among the most effective methods to assess the extent of a potential injury and the degree of recovery during rehabilitation therapy. The description of upper limb kinematics, however, and particularly hand kinematics, is limited by the non-cyclical natur...
Article
To describe the wrist kinematics during movement through free range of motion and activities of daily living using a cyclical task. The wrist angles were initially calculated in a calibration trial and then in two selected activities of daily living (jar opening and carton pouring). Existing studies which describe the wrist movement do not address...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Archived project
Project funded by STW, The Netherlands. The aim of this project is to create a user adaptation profile which represents the dynamic interaction between user and supportive technology.
Archived project
Project funded by EU-Horizon 2020 http://www.input-h2020.eu/ INPUT will strive to make the control of complex upper limb prostheses simple, natural and to be used on a daily basis by amputees effortlessly after donning -"don and play". In INPUT, the main goal will be to transfer the obtained results from laboratory settings further towards a clinically and commercially viable medical product.
Project
In my dissertation “Coordination dynamics of crew rowing” I experimentally studied antiphase rowing, which is theoretically faster but had never been empirically tested on water. My experiments in the lab and on the water generated novel predictions for dynamical systems theory, and showed the expediency of using real-world tasks to test theory on human interaction. I developed and programmed the Remo measurement system to test crew performance on water.