Consensus for experimental design in electromyography (CEDE) project: Amplitude normalization matrix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Manuela Besomi
  • Paul W Hodges
  • Edward A Clancy
  • Jaap Van Dieën
  • François Hug
  • Madeleine Lowery
  • Roberto Merletti
  • Karen Søgaard
  • Tim Wrigley
  • Thor Besier
  • Richard G Carson
  • Catherine Disselhorst-Klug
  • Roger M Enoka
  • Dario Farina
  • Simon Gandevia
  • Aleš Holobar
  • Matthew C Kiernan
  • Kevin McGill
  • Eric Perreault
  • John C Rothwell
  • Kylie Tucker

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • The University of Queensland
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, Università di Roma Foro Italico, Italy.
  • Hematology Biology, University Hospital Nantes, Nantes, France.
  • LISiN, Department of Electronics and Telecommunications, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy.
  • 4 University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
  • Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health
  • Department of Medicine, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand; and Centre for Brain Research, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • Section Neuropsychology, Neurological Clinic, RWTH Aachen University (RWTH), Aachen, Germany.
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, London, UK
  • Climate Change Research Centre; University of New South Wales; Kensington New South Wales Australia
  • University of Maribor
  • Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
  • US Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Northwestern University
  • UCL Institute of Neurology


The general purpose of normalization of EMG amplitude is to enable comparisons between participants, muscles, measurement sessions or electrode positions. Normalization is necessary to reduce the impact of differences in physiological and anatomical characteristics of muscles and surrounding tissues. Normalization of the EMG amplitude provides information about the magnitude of muscle activation relative to a reference value. It is essential to select an appropriate method for normalization with specific reference to how the EMG signal will be interpreted, and to consider how the normalized EMG amplitude may change when interpreting it under specific conditions. This matrix, developed by the Consensus for Experimental Design in Electromyography (CEDE) project, presents six approaches to EMG normalization: (1) Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) in same task/context as the task of interest, (2) Standardized isometric MVC (which is not necessarily matched to the contraction type in the task of interest), (3) Standardized submaximal task (isometric/dynamic) that can be task-specific, (4) Peak/mean EMG amplitude in task, (5) Non-normalized, and (6) Maximal M-wave. General considerations for normalization, features that should be reported, definitions, and "pros and cons" of each normalization approach are presented first. This information is followed by recommendations for specific experimental contexts, along with an explanation of the factors that determine the suitability of a method, and frequently asked questions. This matrix is intended to help researchers when selecting, reporting and interpreting EMG amplitude data.

Bibliographic note

Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102438
JournalJournal of electromyography and kinesiology : official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jun 2020