Evaluation of myoelectric control learning using multi-session game-based training


While training is critical for ensuring initial success as well as continued adoption of a myoelectric powered prosthesis, relatively little is known about the amount of training that is necessary. In previous studies, participants have completed only a small number of sessions, leaving doubt about whether the findings necessarily generalize to a longer-term clinical training program. Furthermore, a heavy emphasis has been placed on a functional prosthesis use when assessing the effectiveness of myoelectric training. Although well-motivated, this all-inclusive approach may obscure more subtle improvements made in underlying muscle control that could lead to tangible benefits. In this paper, a deeper exploration of the effects of myoelectric training was performed by following the progress of 30 participants as they completed a series of ten 30-min training sessions over multiple days. The progress was assessed using a newly developed set of metrics that was specifically designed to quantify the aspects of muscle control that are foundational to the strong myoelectric prosthesis use. It was determined that, while myoelectric training can lead to improvements in muscle control, these improvements may take longer than previously considered, even occurring after improvements in the training game itself. These results suggest the need to reconsider how and when transfer from training activities is assessed.