Doctoral student earns scholarship to present research on muscle synergy adaptation

Rajat Singh. Photo by Ben Krain.

Rajat Emanuel Singh, a doctoral systems engineering student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, earned a scholarship to present his research on muscle synergy adaptation at the IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference. 

Singh traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, Oct. 17-19, to present his paper, “Muscle Synergy Adaptation During A Complex Postural Stabilization Task.” Rajat was one of a select group of students internationally who won a $750 competitive scholarship from the conference organizers to present his research.

Muscle synergy is defined as the building blocks of movement that are encoded in the spinal circuitry. Various experimental studies have shown that their combination leads to different motor behavior. It is also believed that the muscle synergies are genetically encoded and are also learned or adapted depending on the task requirements, Singh said.

In order to study muscle synergies associated with balance and control, Singh and his co-authors compared the muscle synergies of proficient and novice slackliners, those who walk or balance on a suspended length of flat webbing that is tensioned between two anchors. Two participants had at least three years of experience slacklining, while the other two were beginners. Their muscle synergies were extracted from EMG data.

The paper is co-authored by Dr. Kamran Iqbal, professor of systems engineering and Singh’s doctoral advisor, and Dr. Gannon White, associate professor in the school of Counseling, Human Performance, and Rehabilitation.

In the upper right photo, Rajat Singh makes notes about his experiment on muscle synergy adaptation. Photo by Ben Krain. 

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