Methods for Estimating the Numbers of Motor Units in Human Muscles Journal Articles uri icon

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  • After the introduction by A. J. McComas of the original method for estimating the number of motor units based on manual incremental stimulation of a motor nerve, several new techniques have been developed, designed to correct for some of the errors inherent in the original technique. These methods incorporate algorithms to adjust for alternation and, to a greater or lesser extent, automate the methods, rendering the techniques less subject to operator bias and various physiological and technical errors. This review explores the advantages and drawbacks in the multiple-point stimulation (MPS), spike-triggered averaging (STA), and decomposition-enhanced STA techniques, illustrates some of the current applications of the techniques, and explores some tantalizing prospects for new studies of motor-unit physiology in the future.


  • Doherty, Timothy
  • Simmons, Zachary
  • O╩╝Connell, Barbara
  • Felice, Kevin J
  • Conwit, Robin
  • Chan, K Ming
  • Komori, Tetsuo
  • Brown, Timothy
  • Stashuk, Daniel W
  • Brown, William

publication date

  • November 1995