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Keynote Lectures

The Disappearing Human-Machine Divide
Kevin Warwick, University of Reading and Coventry University, United Kingdom

Analysis of Muscle Coordination in Sports: Perspectives from Electromyography and Elastography
François Hug, The University of Queensland, Australia

Breaking into your Brain with Neurotechnology
Aldo Faisal, Imperial College London, United Kingdom

The Working Brain: Windows to the Outside World
Alexandre Castro-Caldas, Portuguese Catholic University, Portugal

 

The Disappearing Human-Machine Divide

Kevin Warwick
University of Reading and Coventry University
United Kingdom
 

Brief Bio
Kevin Warwick is Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, England, where he carries out research in artificial intelligence, control, robotics and biomedical engineering. He took his first degree at Aston University, followed by a PhD and research post at Imperial College London. He subsequently held positions at Oxford, Newcastle and Warwick Universities before being offered the Chair at Reading. He is a Chartered Engineer (CEng.) and is a Fellow of The Institution of Engineering & Technology (FIET). Kevin Warwick is the youngest person ever to become a Fellow of the City & Guilds of London Institute (FCGI). He is the author or co-author of more than 500 research papers and has written or edited 27 books (three for general readership), as well as numerous magazine and newspaper articles on scientific and general subjects. Kevin has been awarded higher doctorates (DSc) both by Imperial College and the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague and has received Honorary Doctorates from 6 Universities. He has appeared in the Guiness Book of Records for his research on several occasions and is perhaps best known for his implant self-experimentation, linking his own nervous system with a computer network. The Institute of Physics selected Kevin as one of only 7 eminent scientists to illustrate the ethical impact their scientific work can have: the others being Galileo, Einstein, Curie, Nobel, Oppenheimer and Rotblat.


Abstract

In this presentation Kevin will look at:
1. The latest results with implant technology (linking human brains with computers), 
2. Culturing biological neurons and putting them in a robot body (robots with biological brains) and
3. Practical Turing Test results (can you tell the difference between a human and a machine from interactive communication?). New experimental data will be presented in each of these areas and participants will be able to see for themselves if they can tell the difference, in a Turing sense, between human and machine dialogue. A brief look will be taken at the future and what all this might mean.



 

 

Analysis of Muscle Coordination in Sports: Perspectives from Electromyography and Elastography

François Hug
The University of Queensland
Australia
 

Brief Bio
Associate Professor François Hug is a Principal Research Fellow in the NHMRC Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in Spinal Pain, Injury and Health (CCRE SPINE), at the University of Queensland (Australia). He has a background in Human Movement Sciences (PhD in 2003 at the University of Aix-Marseille II, France). After a post-doctoral period at the University of Paris VI, he was employed as researcher at the French National Institute for Sports (INSEP, France). He continued his research at the University of Nantes (Laboratory “Motricité, Interactions, Performance”; France) from 2006 to 2012. François has published over 70 peer-reviewed papers (including 2 reviews) in the fields of biomechanics, neurophysiology and exercise physiology. He serves on the editorial board of Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology and as an academic editor for PloS ONE.


Abstract

Due to muscle redundancy, one basic problem in many scientific fields (e.g., biomechanics, neurophysiology and engineering) is to understand how muscles are coordinated to adequately perform common motor tasks. An understanding of muscle coordination is also important for rational planning of therapeutic intervention in clinical populations. It is also important for athletes so that the influence of various factors, such as the use of specific equipment or training intervention, can be better quantified. To date, muscle coordination is mainly described using surface electromyography (EMG).

This lecture will focus initially on the main intrinsic drawbacks of the EMG technique and processing. This will be followed by discussion of “muscle synergy analysis”. This technique is used to decompose EMG patterns recorded from numerous muscles into the summed activation of just a few muscle synergies. As such muscle synergy analysis can offer insight into underlying neural control strategies of movement. Finally, I will present pilot experiments showing that elastography (supersonic shear imaging) can be used to accurately quantify change in force in an individual muscle during an isometric contraction. This experimental technique offers promising perspectives to quantify sharing load during various tasks.



 

 

Breaking into your Brain with Neurotechnology

Aldo Faisal
Imperial College London
United Kingdom
 

Brief Bio
Aldo Faisal leads the Brain&Behaviour lab at the Dept. of Bioengineering and the Dept. of Computing at Imperial College London. He is also Associate Group Head at the MRC Clinical Sciences Center (Hammersmith Hospital). Dr. Faisal read Computer Science and Physics in Germany. He then moved on to study Biology at Cambridge University (Emmanuel College). For his Ph.D. he joined Simon Laughlin's group ar Cambridge investigating the biophysical sources of variability in. brains. During his PhD he was elected a Junior Research Fellow at Cambridge University (Wolfson College) and joined as a PostDox the Computational & Biological Learning Group to work with Daniel Wolpert on human sensorimotor control. Between and after his studies he gained insights into strategic mangement consulting with McKinsey & Co. and as a "quant" with the investment bank Credit Suisse.


Abstract

His research fuses neuroscience with technology contributing to the emerging discipline of neurotechnology. His lab combines methods from computing, physics and engineering with experimental and clinicaö  human studies to understand how the brain works: they pursue both basic science and translational work by a. reverse engineering from first principles the algorithms that drive brains and behaviour and b. translating this understanding into technology that helps patients and people in general. 

He is going to present some recent work from the lab towards these efforts.



 

 

The Working Brain: Windows to the Outside World

Alexandre Castro-Caldas
Portuguese Catholic University
Portugal
 

Brief Bio

Professor Castro Caldas is currently Director of the Institute of Health Sciences of Portuguese Catholic University and was Full Professor of Neurology, until 2004, at the University of Lisbon and Head of the Department of Clinical Neurosciences of the Hospital de Santa Maria, in Lisbon, Portugal.

He earned his M.D. and his Ph.D. from the University of Lisbon School of Medicine, where he started his career in 1974. He has been responsible for the Language Research Laboratory until 1998 and organized the Center for Neurosciences of Lisbon in 1990. He was President of the International Neuropsychological Society (2000-2001).

His publications include two textbooks of Neuropsychology in portuguese, A Herança de Franz Joseph Gall and Viagem ao Cérebro e a algumas das suas Competências and papers in international journals, as: Brain, Neurology, NeuroImage, Journal of Cognitive Neurosciences, JINS, and multiple chapters in national and international books. He is member of the editorial board of several national and international journals. His current research interests include several topics in Cognitive Neurosciences and in particular the modulatory effect of environmental stimulation in the human brain.


Abstract

We are living the fascinating adventure of brain/machine interface.

Brain mechanisms that are suited to this interface will be reviewed, stressing the role of the biological plasticity necessary for the adaptation to external devices.

 



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