Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 12:00
Neuroengineering - Silvestro Micera - Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa, Italy) and Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland)

Neuroengineering is a novel discipline combining engineering including micro
  and nanotechnology, electrical and mechanical, and computer science with
  cellular, molecular, cognitive neuroscience with two main goals: (i) increase
  our basic knowledge of how the nervous system works; (ii) develop systems able
  to restore functions in people affected by different types of neural
  disability. In the past years, several breakthroughs have been reached by
  neuroengineers in particular on the development of neurotechnologies able to
  restore sensorimotor functions in disabled people.  In this presentation,
  three main research activities on this topic carried out by my laboratory in
  the past years will be presented. First, the recent results achieved after the
  implantation of intraneural electrodes in an amputee will be presented. We
  showed that using this approach it is possible to restore the bidirectional
  connection between a dexterous hand prosthesis and the nervous system. The
  user was also able to improve his ability to provide useful motor commands
  over time.  Secondly, the progress towards the development of robotic systems
  for the comprehension and restoration of the neural control of movements such
  as reaching and walking will be also shown.  Finally, my ongoing activities to
  develop the first implantable vestibular neuroprosthesis will be also briefly