16th Annual Delsys Prize Winner

Mapping muscle networks using surface EMG recorded from multiple muscles across the human body



Dr. Tjeerd Boonstra

Neuroscience Research Australia


Online Profiles
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By applying complex network analysis to EMG recordings from muscles across the body, we provide a novel application of EMG with potential for translation to movement disorders. We use intermuscular coherence analysis to assess functional connectivity between muscles and map the muscle networks at different frequencies. We observe functional connectivity between muscles that are functional or anatomically related. The network structure is also dependent on the postural tasks that are performed. These muscle networks reflect common input from neural pathways that project to the spinal motor neurons. This novel approach allows to assess the neural circuitry involved in the coordination of muscles from non-invasive surface EMG recordings and has the potential for clinical application by identifying how coordination breaks down in movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

Full Proposal

"It’s a great honour to receive the 2018 Delsys Prize for promoting innovation in electromyography. The prize will help me to advance my research on muscle networks and investigate future clinical applications of this approach.”

About Dr. Tjeerd Boonstra

Dr. Tjeerd Boonstra


Tjeerd Boonstra is a Senior Research Scientist at Neuroscience Research Australia, UNSW Sydney. He obtained his PhD from the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences at the VU University Amsterdam in 2007. His research focuses on the role of neural interactions in the human motor system. In 2018 he received a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council to investigate the structure and function of the human spinal connectome.