CNP seminars

Upcoming Seminars

NeuroDay 2019 – Showcasing Neuroresearch at EPFL

The NeuroDay is an EPFL initiative to federate research and collaboration around neurotechnology, neuroscience and simulation neuroscience, highlighting the breadth of neuro research across EPFL. Organised jointly by the Brain Mind Institute (BMI), the Blue Brain Project (BBP) and the Center for Neuroprosthetics (CNP), NeuroDay 2019 will address a wide array of topics ranging from fundamental to translational research. The event will end with a closing networking cocktail.


  • Modeling and simulation
  • Imaging the brain in action
  • Wearable and implantable neurotechnologies
  • Sensorimotor function, dysfunction and therapy
  • Future Cognition
  • Future of Neurocomputing
  • Future Technologies
Henry Markram, BBP
Carl Petersen, BMI
Stéphanie P. Lacour, CNP
Pavan Ramdya, BMI
Bernard Schneider, BMI
Grégoire Courtine, CNP-BMI
Carmen Sandi, BMI
Dimitri Van De Ville, CNP-IBI
Olaf Blanke, CNP-BMI
Kathryn Hess, BMI-Maths
Davide Atienza, STI IEL
Felix Schürmann, BBP BMI
Diego Ghezzi, CNP-IBI
Alexandra Radenovic, STI-IBI
Mary Tolikas, Wyss Center

For more info, please download the program (see FILE)

By: Speakers from the Brain Mind Institute, Blue Brain Project and Center for Neuroprosthetics

Brain-Computer Interfaces for Human Gait Restoration

Neurological conditions such as spinal cord injury (SCI) or stroke can cause significant gait impairments. These in turn have a profound effect on independence and quality of life of those affected. Sedentary lifestyle associated with these conditions can also lead to a number of medical comorbidities, which significantly augment their healthcare costs and presents a public health concern. In the U.S. alone, the primary and secondary healthcare costs associated with SCI and stroke are estimated to exceed $80 B/year. Currently, there are no biomedical solutions capable of reversing the loss of motor/sensory function after these conditions and best physiotherapies provide only a limited degree of recovery. Therefore, novel approaches to these conditions are in dire need. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), which aim to bypass neurological lesions by means of neurotechnology, may be a promising new approach to these conditions. In this presentation I will discuss how BCIs can be used for either neuroprosthetic or neurorehabilitation purposes to address gait impairments after SCI or stroke. Most of our work has been in the domain of noninvasive electroencephalogram-based BCIs, but some of our recent studies have explored the utility of invasive electrocorticogram-based BCIs.

Zoran Nenadic received a Diploma degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Belgrade (Serbia) and his M.S. and D.Sc. degrees in Systems Science and Mathematics from Washington University (St. Louis, MO). He was subsequently a postdoctoral scholar in Mechanical Engineering at California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA). Since 2005, he has been with the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at University of California Irvine, where he is currently a full professor.
His research interests lie in neuroengineering with a focus on the development of technologies to restore or rehabilitate functions lost due to neurological conditions, such as spinal cord injury or stroke. His primary source of research support has been the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health. He has received several research awards, including the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the NSF and the Hiruma-Wagner Award from the Japanese Research Foundation for Opto-Science and Technology. His research accomplishments have been featured in numerous media outlets, including Time Magazine, Reuters, Fox Business, and The Doctors. For his teaching efforts, he received multiple BME Professor of the Year distinctions from the Engineering Student Council.

By: Prof Zoran Nenadic, University of California Irvine, USA.

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SV 1717

BMI SEMINAR // Laura Cancedda - Targeting aberrant Cl- homeostasis in Down syndrome to design innovative therapeutic approaches

Down syndrome (DS) is the most frequent genetic cause of intellectual disability. A large body of literature demonstrated that altered GABAergic transmission through Cl- permeable GABAAreceptors considerably contributes to learning and memory deficits in DS mouse models. In particular, we have demonstrated that intracellular Cl concentration is impaired in DS mice due to upregulation of the Cl importer NKCC1. Notably, NKCC1 inhibition by the FDA-approved diuretic bumetanide restores Cl homeostasis, synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent memory in adult DS mice. Based on these findings, a pilot clinical trial will soon start on adult individuals with DS. Yet, there are open issues related to Clhomeostasis and NKCC1 inhibition that, if addressed will provide new knowledge into DS molecular mechanisms and will offer a larger scientific background for designing future clinical trials. In this talk, I will summarize all findings from our laboratory on DS, and show preliminary results we recently collected on some of these open issues.

By: Laura Cancedda, The Italian Institute of Technology, Genoa, Italy

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Past Seminars

The emerging concept of down-bound and up-bound modules in the learning cerebellum

The olivo-cerebellar system is organized into so-called three-element modules. These modules are characterized by sagittal zones of Purkinje cells that project onto specific parts of the cerebellar and/or vestibular nuclei, which in turn inhibit the subnucleus of the inferior olive that provides the climbing fibers to the connected sagittal zone involved. Yet, despite the generic character of this topographical neuro-anatomical organization, recent studies indicate that the modules can be functionally segregated into two main groups; those with Purkinje cells that fire at a relatively low baseline firing frequency of their simple spikes and tend to increase this frequency during learning (referred to as up-bound modules), and those with Purkinje cells that fire at a relatively high baseline frequency and tend to decrease this frequency during learning (referred to as down-bound modules). To date, this concept has now been shown for learning paradigms like adaptation of the vestibulo-ocular reflex, modification of whisker reflexes, and eyeblink conditioning. In addition, evidence is emerging that these rules can be extrapolated to acquiring cognitive functions like decision making and navigation control. In my discussion I will highlight that for each of these forms of learning one can predict whether an increase or decrease of simple spike activity is required based on the downstream connectivity.

By: Prof. Chris de Zeeuw, Dept. of Neuroscience Erasmus MC, Rotterdam.

Bertarelli Neuroscience Symposium 2019

Coordinated by Bertarelli Chair in Neuroprosthetic Technology and Director of EPFL's Center for Neuroprosthetics, Professor Stéphanie Lacour, the Symposium will feature presentations from the five Catalyst Projects at Campus Biotech, addresses from keynote speakers and a cocktail party to close.

Please register HERE !  Registration is free but mandatory. Deadline July 1st.

Keynote speakers

Towards the Optical Cochlear Implant: Optogenetic Stimulation of the Auditory Pathway
Tobias Moser, University Medical Center Goettingen

Prof. Dr. Tobias Moser is a neuroscientist, otologist, and audiologist at the Göttingen Campus. Since 2015, he directs the Institute for Auditory Neuroscience at the University Medical Center Göttingen and leads research groups at the German Primate Center and the Max-Planck-Institutes for Biophysical Chemistry and Experimental Medicine. His main areas of research are synaptic coding and processing of auditory information as well as innovative approaches to the restoration of hearing in the deaf.

The design and deployment of bioelectronic platforms for translational neuroscience
Tim Denison, Oxford University

Prof. Tim Denison holds a join appointment in Engineering Science and Clinical Neurosciences at Oxford, where he explores the fundamentals of physiologic closed-loop systems. Prior to that, Tim was a Technical Fellow at Medtronic PLC and Vice President of Research & Core Technology for the Restorative Therapies Group, where he helped oversee the design of next generation neural interface and algorithm technologies for the treatment of chronic neurological disease. In 2012, he was awarded membership to the Bakken Society, Medtronic’s highest technical and scientific honor, and in 2014 he was awarded the Wallin leadership award, becoming only the second person in Medtronic history to receive both awards.  In 2015, he was elected to the College of Fellows for the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). Tim received an A.B. in Physics from The University of Chicago, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from MIT.  He recently completed his MBA and was named a Wallman Scholar at Booth, The University of Chicago. 

More information and updates at

By: Catalyst Projects and keynote speakers.

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ME D2 1124

High-Resolution Brain Machine Interfaces using Flexible Silicon Electronics

Right now, all of the tools that interface with our brains face a fundamental trade-off. We can either sample with low resolution, over large areas of the brain, or we can sample with fine resolution, over very small areas of the brain. This doesn’t fit with the way our brains are structured. With over 12 million neurons in each square cm of brain surface, we need to sample with high resolution over large areas in order to understand the way the brain works. The limitation is wiring. Every contact we put in the brain requires an individual wire and we can’t fit more than about 100 wires inside our heads. Using the same electronics that enable a digital camera to have millions of pixels without millions of wires, we can move some of the signal processing right to the sensors, allowing us to overcome the wiring bottleneck. The challenge is that traditional electronics are rigid and brittle. They are not compatible with the soft, curved surfaces of the brain. The solution is to make electronics that are flexible. Think of a piece of 2x4 lumber and a sheet of paper, they’re both made out of the same material, but have dramatically different physical properties. Leveraging that idea, we can make electronics that are extremely flexible, by making them very thin. Using these flexible electronics, I have developed high-density electrode arrays with thousands of electrodes that do not require thousands of external wires.
This technology has enabled extremely flexible arrays of 1,024 electrodes and soon, thousands of multiplexed and amplified sensors spaced as closely as 25 µm apart, which are connected using just a few wires.  These devices yield an unprecedented level of spatial and temporal micro-electrocorticographic (µECoG) resolution for recording and stimulating distributed neural networks.  I will present the development of this technology and data from in vivo recordings.  I will also discuss how we are translating this technology for both research and human clinical use. 

Jonathan Viventi is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. Dr. Viventi earned his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.Eng. and B.S.E. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University. Dr. Viventi's research applies innovations in flexible electronics, low power analog circuits, and machine learning to create new technology for interfacing with the brain at a much finer scale and with broader coverage than previously possible. He creates new tools for neuroscience research and technology to diagnose and treat neurological disorders, such as epilepsy. Using these tools, he collaborates with neuroscientists and clinicians to explore the fundamental properties of brain networks in both health and disease. His research program works closely with industry, including filing six patents and several licensing agreements. His work has been featured as cover articles in Science Translational Medicine and Nature Materials, and has also appeared in Nature Neuroscience, the Journal of Neurophysiology, and Brain. For these achievements, Dr. Viventi was selected to the 2014 MIT Technology Review “Top 35 Innovators Under 35” list, the 2014 Popular Science “Brilliant 10” list and an NSF CAREER Award.


Streamed to: Campus Biotech, H8 Auditorium D

By: Prof Jonathan Viventi, Duke University, Durham, USA.