Symposium: Brain-machine interfaces for rehabilitation

From Lab to Clinic – Pathways to translational brain-machine interfaces for rehabilitation

The University of Reading will host a focused one-day symposium in September 2018, aiming to bring together researchers in brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) and clinical experts in rehabilitation to discuss the pathway and the challenges for widespread clinical adoption of BMIs. This event will help early career researchers identify how to bring their BMI research into clinical application. The symposium will include users of BMI technology as well as representatives from funding bodies to provide an all-inclusive and informative discussion on adapting and translating existing research outputs.

Accepted abstracts will be presented in poster format and some early career researchers will be selected to give an oral presentation. Click here to visit the abstract submission page for more details.

Candidates who present a poster will be requested to take part in a lightning round, where they will received 1 minute to present their work to the symposium attendees.

The event includes a panel discussion by funding body representatives (MRC), and researchers in BMI, to discuss questions regarding how to fund and conduct research in clinical environments – especially from an early career point of view. Questions to the panel can be submitted in advance with registration or during the day. Lunch and coffee/tea throughout the day will be provided, and there will be a networking wine and canapé reception at the end of the day.

Please consider submitting your work or coming along on the day.

Click here to submit your abstract.

This event is wheelchair accessible.

Please contact if you have any enquiries.

About the symposium

Organised by Ioannis Zoulias and Orla Fannon of the University of Reading, UK, this symposium aims to address the key challenges in the design and adoption of BMIs in the clinic, and highlight the pathways to success for researchers working with BMIs for rehabilitation. The meeting will explore the viewpoints of the operators (i.e clinicians) and the end users (i.e patients) of BMI technologies, focusing on the key considerations for designing BMIs that are adaptable to the variation in physiologies across disabilities, and suitable for the specific needs of end-users.

The symposium will bring together patients, researchers in cutting-edge BMI technology, clinicians in rehabilitation, and experts on the physiology of motor disabilities. The primary goal is to identify the pathways for early career researchers to translate their BMI research into a clinical solution. The secondary goal is to foster new collaborations between clinicians and researchers who are in the early stages of BMI development. The aim is to facilitate the formation of long-lasting collaborations, and subsequently to create an increase in widespread use of clinical BMIs for rehabilitation.

The symposium will host talks by established BMI researchers, and clinicians, who will discuss the most promising BMIs for motor rehabilitation, and share their experiences in designing BMIs and transferring them to a clinical setting. A panel discussion between the audience, invited speakers, clinicians, representatives from funding bodies, patients, and academic researchers, will explore the challenges and opportunities for transferring BMIs to the clinic. The symposium is an excellent event to network with BMI experts, clinicians and other early careers researchers in BMI, and to receive valuable input on the translational potential, limitations, and advantages of your research within a clinical perspective.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Miguel Nicolelis, Duke School of Medicine Professor in Neuroscience, Duke University, North Carolina, USA
  • Dario Farina, Chair in Neurorehabilitation Engineering, Imperial College London, UK
  • Claire Guy, Principal Physiotherapist in Spinal Injuries, Rookwood Hospital, UK
  • Ian Daly, Lecturer of Computer Science, University of Essex, UK

Confirmed Panellists

  • Robin Gibbons, Senior Research Associate, Aspire CREATe Group, University College London, UK
  • Medical Research Council, UK


Reading Emotions

Pain is a complex cognitive and emotional experience, which means that understanding the structure of our pain experience is far from easy. Our beliefs and expectations about pain alter perceptual, emotional and behavioural responses and, as such, can play a critical role in adapting to long term pain conditions. The symposium will consider pain’s meaning, how this shapes the experience of the individual in pain and how this, in turn, shapes their interactions with the environment. We will take an inter-disciplinary approach to these questions, drawing from Philosophy, Anthropology, Psychology and Neuroscience. We will also attempt to translate these perspectives into the clinical domain. The second day will be organised as an interactive discussion led by Dr. Salomons, Dr. Ravindran, and Dr. Thacker, examining how our understanding of pain-related beliefs and expectations might be integrated into clinical practice.


The symposium is designed to bring together people interested in the philosophical, neuroscientific, and clinical examination of the elements which structure pain experiences, asking how propositional and affective states (e.g. beliefs and feelings) alter the pain experience and how such knowledge should properly inform clinical practice.
You can book tickets here or find out more information about the event on the website, including a full schedule and list of speakers here.

Workshop: Bi-/Multilingualism and the Declining Brain

This free event will look into contemporary suggestions about the neuroprotective effects of bi-/multilingualism against brain decline in healthy and patient populations. It will bring together early career and established researchers in the fields of second language acquisition and cognitive/clinical neuroscience, and will comprise a state-of-the-art snapshot in the field, as well as discuss potential future directions for research.

Closing the loop between technology and people

By Inge Lasser, Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics, University of Reading

Professor Doug Saddy’s lecture entitled “Augmented Humans: mind and machine” changed the way I think about myself and about the role that brain science will play in the progression of society. As an administrative manager at the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN), of which Doug Saddy is the Director, I speak to brain scientists every day. I hear them talk about data, methodology, analytics, responses, levels, and everything that matters for doing fundamental research. Like all scientists, the members of the CINN rejoice when a new study is funded or a paper has been accepted. What Saddy’s presentation gave me is a hugely fascinating view of the “bigger picture” in cognitive neuroscience.

Listen to Saddy and you will learn that you extend into the environment beyond your physical self. In other words, we are all incessantly generating not only acoustic signals, but also electrical, magnetic and biochemical information, voluntarily and involuntarily. Vice versa, our environment extends into us. Humans constantly leak and absorb information. This leads to them, you and me, being in a constant mode of change.

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