SATO Wataru Laboratory

Crosstalk in facial EMG and its reduction using ICA

(Sato & Kochiyama: Sensors)

There is ample evidence that electromyography (EMG) signals from the corrugator supercilii and zygomatic major muscles can provide valuable information for the assessment of subjective emotional experiences.
Although previous research suggested that facial EMG data could be affected by crosstalk from adjacent facial muscles, it remains unproven whether such crosstalk occurs and, if so, how it can be reduced.

To investigate this, we instructed participants (n = 29) to perform the facial actions of frowning, smiling, chewing, and speaking, in isolation and combination.
During these actions, we measured facial EMG signals from the corrugator supercilii, zygomatic major, masseter, and suprahyoid muscles.
We performed an independent component analysis (ICA) of the EMG data and removed crosstalk components.

Speaking and chewing induced EMG activity in the masseter and suprahyoid muscles, as well as the zygomatic major muscle.
The ICA-reconstructed EMG signals reduced the effects of speaking and chewing on zygomatic major activity, compared with the original signals.

These data suggest that: (1) mouth actions could induce crosstalk in zygomatic major EMG signals, and (2) ICA can reduce the effects of such crosstalk.

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