Title: Neural Engineering: Restoring, Replacing, and Extending Cognition
Keynote Lecturer: Moritz Grosse-Wentrup
Presented on: 31/10/2017, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Abstract: Neural engineering restores, replaces, or extends cognitive functions by establishing bi-directional interfaces to the brain. These interfaces require sensors to record neural activity, machine learning algorithms to decode cognitive states from neural signals in real-time, and actuators to steer neural activity towards desired target states. In this talk, I give an overview of the primary challenges for neural engineering and highlight solutions developed in my group. On the algorithmic side, I focus on two key problems: How can we build brain decoding models that generalise across heterogeneous subjects, and how can we use these models to predict how neural activity should be altered, e.g., by transcranial electrical stimulation, to achieve a desired cognitive state? On the hardware side, I present a low-cost system that enables high-quality EEG recordings outside of laboratory environments, and introduce a brain-robot interface that combines real-time brain decoding with haptic feedback. I demonstrate the impact of our work on two translational projects in the domain of personalisedmedicine: A brain-computer interface for communication with severely paralysed patients in late-stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and a brain-robot interface for post-stroke motor rehabilitation. I conclude by outlining my vision for translating neural engineering into everyday applications that benefit patient populations as well as healthy users.
Title: Virtual Reality Paradigms for the Rehabilitation of Stroke
Keynote Lecturer: Mónica Cameirão
Presented on: 30/10/2017, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Abstract: Stroke remains a major cause of adult disability, with very high economic and social costs. We need new rehabilitation delivery models and for this purpose new approaches have been proposed in the last years that rely on the use of interactive and virtual reality technologies. Virtual reality has a lot of potential because it allows the creation of novel paradigms that explore the role of personalization of training, the use of various types of feedback, and engagement incorporating rehabilitation tasks in game contexts. In addition, through these tools we can monitor patients and have a precise and objective quantification of their performance and recovery over time. In this presentation, I will describe different paradigms that combine virtual reality, neurosciences, and rehabilitation guidelines with the objective of developing and validating interactive systems specifically designed for maximizing motor and cognitive rehabilitation after a stroke. I will address aspects such as task personalization, cognitive-motor interference based on patient profile, and the role of the type of content used in the virtual scenarios. The impact of these paradigms will be illustrated with the results from controlled studies with stroke survivors in acute and chronic stages of stroke.
Title: Brain Computer Interfaces and Immersive Virtual Reality for Post-Stroke Motor Rehabilitation
Keynote Lecturer: Sergi Bermúdez i Badia
Presented on: 31/10/2017, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Abstract: Stroke is one of the most common causes of acquired disability, leaving numerous adults with cognitive and motor impairments, and affecting patients’ capability to live independently.In recent years, novel rehabilitation paradigms have been proposed to address the life-long plasticity of the brain to regain motor function. Among them, the use of a hybrid brain–computer interface (BCI)—virtual reality (VR) approach can combine a personalized motor training in a VR environment, exploiting brain mechanisms for action execution and observation, and a neuro-feedback paradigm using mental imagery as a way to engage secondary or indirect pathways to access undamaged cortico-spinal tracts. I will present the development and validation experiments of the proposed technology. More specifically, I will discuss the underlying neuroscientific principles, use of low cost EEG acquisition systems, the integration in immersive VR and the use of haptic technology. I will show how the proposed motor imagery driven BCI-VR system is usable, engaging and able to engage the desired brain motor areas. This novel technology enables stroke survivors without active movement to engage in more effective rehabilitation paradigms.
Presented at the following Events:
icSPORTS, 5th International Congress on Sport Sciences Research and Technology Support
NEUROTECHNIX, 5th International Congress on Neurotechnology, Electronics and Informatics
The European Project Space (EPS) provided an insight on new research projects financing opportunities related to Horizon 2020. The EPS started with a panel entitled ‘Horizon 2020 New Challenges and Opportunities’. The panel was chaired by Manuel Monteiro (Former Deputy Head of Unit at European Commission, Portugal) and had as participants:
- Patrícia Calado (Horizon 2020 National Contact Point - Health and IMI, Portugal)
- Alessandro Giusti (CyRIC, Cyprus)
- Hugo Plácido da Silva (IT- Institute of Telecommunications, Portugal)
- Luisella Cianferotti (University of Florence, Italy)