Plenary lectures are invited 45minutes lectures to be held without other parallel activities. The lectures will be broad surveys of recent major developments in the neurorehabilitation field.

Confirmed Plenary Speakers


Asgeir Alexandersson



Oskar C. Aszmann
Medical University of Vienna



Antonio Bicchi
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia


Title: A soft synergy model of human manipulation and its applications to prosthetics and rehabilitation.

Abstract: The human hand is a very complex biomechanical system, whcih is effortlessly controlled by our brain without occupying our attention in most of the cases. Artificlal hands have been able to replicate the natural manipulation versatility only to a limited extent, while requiring attention-intensive command. This resulted in scarce satisfaction of prosthetic users, and in frequent abandonment.
Our work in recent years focused on trying to understand what is at the core of human upper limb functionalities, to develop a principled design approach to a fully articulated hand which could be simply and intuitively controlled. Not surprisingly, we found that some principles from human motor control can lead to a better design and control of artificial hands.
We will present the notion of “soft synergies”, which merges the concepts of motor synergies with an equilibrium-point hypothesis, and results in the development of the SoftHand Pro, an artificial hand which definitely innovative features. The use of the hand by prosthetics and rehabilitation patients is illustrated, and results discussed.


Leora R. Cherney
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (former Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) & Northwestern University



Dario Farina
Imperial College of London



Ángel Gil
National Paraplegic Hospital



Christoph Guger
g.tec medical engineering GmbH, Guger Technologies OG, g.tec medical engineering Spain SL, g.tec


Title: Brain-computer interface technology for rehabilitation, assessment and mapping of cognitive functions.


Levi Hargrove
Director, Regenstein Center for Bionic Medicine
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (former Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)



Antoni Ivorra
Universitat Pompeu Fabra



Richard Lieber
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (former Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)



Hyung-Soon Park, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, KAIST, Daejeon, South Korea
Director of RENEW (Rehabilitation Engineering for Neurological Diseases Worldwide) center,
Director of Neuro-rehabilitation Engineering Lab.


Title: Biomimetic soft exotendon gloves and hand prosthesis for dextrous manipulation.


Monica Perez
Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery.
The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis Lois Pope Life Center.
University of Miami.



Eric Perreault
Northwestern University. Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (former Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago). Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation



Marco Molinari
Fondazione Santa Lucia



John C. Rothwell
University College London



Zev Rymer
Director of the Single Motor Unit Laboratory at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)
Northwestern University – Chicago


Title: Novel strategies to enhance neural plasticity after damage to the central nervous system: Applications of acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH)


Joanne C. Smith
Shirley Ryan AbilityLab



Aiko Thompson
Associate Professor
Department of Health Sciences and Research, College of Health Professions
Medical University of South Carolina, USA



More information will be published soon.