The neuromuscular system is generally intended as the combination of nervous system and muscles, working together to enable movement. More specifically, the nervous system is divided into central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, the latter being referred to as neuromuscular system and composed of peripheral nerves and muscles. The peripheral nerves, both afferent (made of sensory neurons) and efferent (made of motor neurons), connect the spinal cord to the muscles of the limbs in a feedback fashion.
In this context, the BM/d Research Team aims at exploiting involuntary neuromuscular mechanisms in order to improve the efficiency of muscle training and rehabilitation programs. Vibrating loads are applied to the muscle and the neuromuscular adaptation processes studied with the aim of optimizing the imposed loads. Characterization of the neuromuscular system is carried out through extensive use of electromyography (EMG), i.e., the analysis of muscle biopotentials. Advanced algorithms for EMG signal analysis are then developed for the extraction of electromyographic features that carry relevant physiological information on the neuromuscular activity. Characterization of the resulting muscule activity (e.g., aerobic or anaerobic) can also involve near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS).
Neuromuscular research is carried out in collaboration with the a number of strategic partners, comprising the Máxima Medical Center in Veldhoven, the Kempenhaeghe Epilepsy Center, the British Olympic Association, and the Department of Applied Neurophysiology at the University Medical Center St Radboud in Nijmegen.