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Dario Farina: Neural Control of Human Movement: A Spinal Motoneuron-Centric View

Faculty of Engineering | Department of Bioengineering | Imperial College London | UK [Bernstein Seminar]
When Jun 28, 2023
from 12:15 PM to 01:00 PM
Where Bernstein Center, Hansastr. 9a, Lecture Hall.
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 One of the main limitations in the study of human movement is our poor ability to record in vivo from a sufficiently large number of neural cells to understand population behaviours and to associate a functional meaning to the cellular mechanisms that ultimately determine a movement. This limitation can now be partly overcome, at least at the last stage of neural processing of movement, that is at the level of alpha spinal motor neurons. Motor neurons receive synaptic inputs from the entire neuromuscular system and they convert it into the neural drive to muscles. The spiking activity of motor neurons can be identified from recordings of electrical activity of muscles using either wearable (non-invasive) or minimally invasive sensors. Using these technologies, motor neurons are the only neural cells whose individual activities can be studied in humans during natural behaviour, without the need for neural implants. The talk will overview the technologies for motoneuron interfacing and their use in the study of neural control of movement, with the proposal of a new motoneuron synergy theory of motor control. 


About the speaker and his research

Dario Farina 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 holds a Honorary Doctorate degree in Medicine from Aalborg University, Denmark, and has been the recipient of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Early Career Achievement Award, the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, the IEEE EMBS Technical Achievement Award. His research focuses on biomedical signal processing, neurorehabilitation technology, and neural control of movement. 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, and an Editor for many other international Journals, including Science Advances and IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. Professor Farina has been elected Fellow IEEE, AIMBE, ISEK, EAMBES, AAIA, Sigma Xi.

Hosted by Carsten Mehring


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