Scientists in the 17th and 18th centuries such as Jan Swammerdam, Francesco Redi, Luigi Galvani, and Alessandro Volta conducted experiments to confirm that electrical stimulation led to muscle contraction. Carlo Matteucci was the first to develop a primitive instrument related to the modern EMG to measure electrical potential in muscles. His galvanometer detected and determined the direction of small electrical currents produced by mechanical means, and then applied this to muscle contraction through studies done on frogs. Emil Du Bois-Reymond was the first to apply this to voluntary contraction of human muscle, and his work was followed by further experimentation by Guillaume Duchenne on facial muscles. Since then, EMG machines were refined and knowledge of EMG furthered at unbelievable speeds.
Present and Future Use
EMG is currently used in the diagnosis of various of neuromuscular diseases. It has also been used to help study kinesiology as well as help map the brain for a deeper understanding of Alzheimer’s. A current use that has a prevalent future is utilizing EMG for prosthetics movement. This has been widely used in prosthetics for limbs such as arms, hands, and legs.
In addition to medical uses, use of EMG in the gaming industry is a future source for expansion.