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Median frequency of the myoelectric signal

Effects of hand dominance

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A study was performed to investigate the existence of any distinction in the fatiguability of corresponding contralateral muscles in the hand as a function of hand dominance. The first dorsal interosseous muscle was studied. The median frequency of the myoelectric signal was employed to describe the fatigue behavior of the muscle. It was found that during sustained contractions the median frequency decreased faster in the non-dominant hand of right handed individuals, whereas, no statistically significant distinction could be found in left handed individuals. This distinction was evident in both male and female subjects. This study demonstrates that continued preferential usage of a muscle is associated with altered electrical properties of the myoelectric signal and that the median frequency of the signal provides an appropriate measure of the modifications. It is argued that the findings may provide an indication of modifications in the metabolic properties of muscle fibers induced by a lifetime of preferred functional use.

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Correspondence to Carlo J. De Luca.

Additional information

Dr. Sabbahi is now with the Texas Woman's University School of Physical Therapy in Houston, Texas, USA

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De Luca, C.J., Sabbahi, M.A. & Roy, S.H. Median frequency of the myoelectric signal. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 55, 457 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00421637

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Key words

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle
  • Hand dominance
  • Myoelectric signal
  • Median frequency
  • First dorsal interosseous