Non-invasive neural inferfacing with high-information transfer with the human spinal cord


Event details

Date and time 28.04.2020 12:1513:15  
Place and room
Speaker Dario Farina, Professor and Chair in Neurorehabilitation Engineering, Imperial College London, UK.
Category Conferences - Seminars

Alpha motor neurons receive synaptic input that they convert into the ultimate neural code of movement -- the neural drive to muscles. The study of the behaviour of motor neurons provides a window into the neural processing of movement. Recently, the interfacing (bioelectrodes) and processing methods for identifying the output of motor neuron pools from interference electromyogram (EMG) signals have been advanced substantially. In the past decade, these methods have indeed allowed the monitoring of the behaviour of tens to hundreds of motor neurons concurrently, with minimally invasive or non-invasive methods. This new population analysis has opened new perspectives in the study of neural control of movement. The talk will overview the technology for motor neuron interfacing as well as the potential of motor neuron recording technology for man-machine interfacing. Examples of closed-loop neural interfacing based on non-invasive decoding of spinal motor neuron behaviour will be discussed in relation to assistive and rehabilitation devices.

Dario Farina received Ph.D. degrees in automatic control and computer science and in electronics and communications engineering from the Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Nantes, France, and Politecnico di Torino, Italy, in 2001 and 2002, respectively, and an Honorary Doctorate degree in Medicine from Aalborg University, Denmark, in 2018. He is currently Full Professor and Chair in Neurorehabilitation Engineering at the Department of Bioengineering of Imperial College London, UK. He has previously been Full Professor at Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark, (until 2010) and at the University Medical Center Göttingen, Georg-August University, Germany, where he founded and directed the Department of Neurorehabilitation Systems (2010-2016). Among other awards, he has been the recipient of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Early Career Achievement Award (2010), The Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2016), and has been elected Distinguished Lecturer IEEE (2014). He has also received continuous funding by the European Research Council since 2011. His research focuses on biomedical signal processing, neurorehabilitation technology, and neural control of movement. Within these areas, he has (co)-authored >450 papers in peer-reviewed Journals, which have currently received >27,000 citations. Professor Farina has been the President of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology (ISEK) (2012-2014) and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the official Journal of this Society, the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. He is also currently an Editor for Science Advances, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics, Wearable Technologies, and the Journal of Physiology. Professor Farina has been elected Fellow IEEE, AIMBE, ISEK, EAMBES.

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Free


  • Center for Neuroprosthetics


  • Host: Prof S. Micera