Summer school on Hybrid Neural Interfaces

Summer school 24 Schedule

Summer school 24 Agenda


Join us for a thorough overview of the cutting-edge Hybrid Neural Interfaces at our upcoming summer school.

One week of educational and networking activities is designed to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the latest advancements in hybrid neural interfaces. Throughout the program, attendees will explore diverse topics ranging from high-density surface and high-density intramuscular electromyogram analysis to movement augmentation, motor-cognitive interventions and neural interfaces for managing movement disorders.

The Summer School begins with an in-depth examination of high-density surface electromyogram (HDEMG) analysis, exploring the latest developments in motor unit identification techniques and motor unit identification pipelines. Participants will gain insights into the intricacies of motor unit behaviour in both voluntary and elicited contractions, illuminating the underlying mechanisms driving movement control and coordination.

Moving beyond muscle activity, the program shifts focus to functional brain connectivity as assessed by electroencephalograms (EEG). Attendees will explore the dynamic interplay between cortical centres and muscular output, unlocking novel pathways for understanding neural movement control. Furthermore, we will explore the intersection of motor-cognitive interventions in gait and balance studies and offer insights into innovative approaches to managing movement disorders through neural interfaces. We will explain the possibilities of neural code exploitation in movement augmentation.

Incorporating practical application, the summer school offers hands-on training and advice from leading experts and fellow students. Sessions will cover vital topics, such as optimising HDEMG acquisition quality for motor unit identification and transferring information from HDEMG to EEG with the help of motor unit-based EEG filters for cortical activity assessment.

Participants will have the opportunity to showcase their work, fostering collaboration and learning experiences among peers. After the regular programme, this summer school aims to create a relaxed social atmosphere with numerous opportunities for networking and cultural exchange.

Participating experts:
  • A. Holobar (University of Maribor, Slovenia): MU identification pipelines
  • J. Škarabot (Loughborough University, UK): MU behaviour in voluntary & elicited contractions
  • M.A. Mañanas (UPC - Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain): Functional brain connectivity assessed by EEG
  • U. Marušič (Science and Research Centre Koper, Slovenia): Motor-cognitive interventions in gait and balance studies
  • D. Farina (Imperial College London, UK): Movement augmentation
  • A. P. Valdunciel (Imperial College London, UK): Neural interfaces for managing movement disorders
  • S. Muceli (Chalmers, Sweden): Beyond the surface: high-density intramuscular EMG
  • B. G. Sgambato (Imperial College London, UK): Ultrasound neural interfaces
Hands-on & practical advice from our students:
  • M. Kramberger (University of Maribor, Slovenia): How to improve the EMG acquisition: quality control for MU identification
  • N. Murks (University of Maribor, Slovenia): From muscles to the brain: MU-based EEG filters
  • M. Šavc, N. Murks, M. Kramberger (University of Maribor, Slovenia), M. Kalc (Science and Research Centre Koper, Slovenia): HNI2024 Summer challenge: Science & Sport.

July 8th (Day 1) - Surface HDEMG interfaces:

The first day will focus on surface high-density electromyograms (HDEMG)

  • Lecture 1: Motor unit identification pipelines: state of the art and perspectives. Aleš Holobar (UM, QS) will open the summer school and present the HybridNeuro project and the latest developments and challenges in identifying motor unit discharge patterns from HDEMG signals using signal processing pipelines.
  • Lecture 2: Motor unit behaviour in voluntary & elicited contractions. Jakob Škarabot (Loughborough University, UK, QS) is invited as a consortium-external speaker to present the results of motor unit identification in different voluntary and electrically elicited contractions. He will discuss the typical motor unit discharge patterns and behavior, and techniques for their assessment.
  • Hands-on 1: How to improve the EMG acquisition: quality control for motor unit identification. Matej Kramberger (UM, PhD, YR) will present practical advice and describe crucial steps in acquiring HDEMG signals, especially when the HDEMG signals are to be decomposed into contributions of individual motor units. This will include practical demonstrations of HDEMG signals with different levels of quality and practical guidelines on quantifying the quality of HDEMG signals.
  • Student's project presentations with expert feedback - Part 1: Participants will present their projects/work and discuss their hypothesis, goals and methodology with QS. This will contribute to the networking and is expected to increase the dissemination of the know-how and the impact of the HybridNeuro project.
  • Opening reception: the first day will close with an opening reception, offering opportunities for informal networking and exchange of research ideas among the participants.

July 9th (Day 2) - EEG interfaces

The second day will focus on interfaces and processing of electroencephalographic (EEG) signals:

  • Lecture 3: Functional brain connectivity assessed by EEG. Dr. Miguel Ángel Mañanas (UPC, QS) will present the current methodologies and procedures for EEG acquisition and posterior data processing, filtering, and interpretation for the assessment of functional brain connectivity.
  • Lecture 4: Motor-cognitive interventions in gait and balance studies. Dr. Uroš Marušič (The Science and Research Centre Koper, Slovenia, QS) is invited as a consortium-external speaker. He is the coordinator of the TwinBrain project (HORIZON 2020. WIDESPREAD-05-2020 - Twinning). He will present the state-of-the-art methodologies and the latest findings in motor-cognitive interventions, including the results of the TwinBrain project.
  • Hands-on 2: From muscles to the brain: MU-based EEG filters. Nina Murks (UM, YR) will present recent findings and the methodology developed in the HybridNeuro project, aiming to exploit the robustness of muscle-computer interfaces to increase the robustness of brain-computer interfaces. She will demonstrate how to transfer the HDEMG-based motor unit filters to the EEG signals.
  • Student's project presentations with expert feedback - Part 2: Participants will present their projects and discuss their hypothesis, goals and methodology with qualified scientists. This will contribute to the networking and is expected to increase the dissemination of the know-how and the impact of the HybridNeuro project.

July 10th (Day 3) - Corticomuscular coupling

The third day will focus on Neural interfaces for movement augmentation and management of neural disorders:

  • Lecture 5: Movement augmentation. Prof. Dario Farina (IMPERIAL, QS) will present the latest prospects in movement augmentation and methodologies for assessing degrees of freedom in neural codes sent to skeletal muscles. Prof. Farina will review the latest advances in decoding the basis of motor control from the muscles and how this neural code can be exploited to develop movement augmentation paradigms.
  • Lecture 6: Neural interfaces for managing movement disorders. Dr. Alejandro Pascual Valdunciel (IMPERIAL, YR) will present the applications of neural interfaces in managing neural diseases with motor alterations. He will introduce how the latest advances in electrophysiology can be applied to unveil the pathophysiology of movement disorders. He will also explain the basis of neuromodulation, reviewing different techniques to stimulate the nervous system and emphasising the relevance of bi-directional neural interfaces.
  • HNI2024 Summer challenge: Science & Sport. Researchers from UM will demonstrate motion tracking with the help of low-cost video cameras and deep neural networks. Participants will assess the motion tracking performance, such as accuracy and responsiveness, in different practical setups, including sports activities. Acquisition of surface HDEMG during these different setups will be demonstrated and practised. These practical demonstrations will be used to boost the participants' networking and open discussions on the challenges and opportunities behind the kinematic and neural interfaces and their exploitation in different applications.

July 11th (Day 4) - Corticomuscular coupling

The fourth day will focus on intramuscular and ultrasound interfaces:

  • Lecture 7: Beyond the surface: multichannel intramuscular EMG. Prof. Silvia Muceli (CHALMERS, QS) will present the possibilities and challenges in acquiring intramuscular HDEMG signals, including their state-of-the-art processing methodologies and the latest findings, supported by intramuscular HDEMG analysis.
  • Lecture 8: Ultrasound neural interfaces. Mr. Bruno Grandi Sgambato (Imperial College London, UK) will present the use of ultrasound as a novel approach to neural interfacing. He will discuss, from the beginning, the basics of ultrasound, recording techniques, and its potential as a tool for neural interfacing. He will also review results showing its potential in motor unit decomposition and prosthetic control.
  • University of Maribor & city tour: Researchers of UM will present to the participants the infrastructure at UM, possibilities of research work collaboration, PhD study programs and postdoc opportunities. The University of Maribor and Maribor City sightseeing tour will follow, focusing on networking, the city's lifestyle and Slovenian cultural heritage.

July 12th (Day 5) - Neural Interfaces in practice

The fifth day will discuss the challenges and opportunities the neural interfaces offer in clinical practice and their potential for exploitation as experienced by the Slovenian industrial partners. We will also present the HybridNeuro Hub initiative to all the participants and organise the 2nd HybridNeuro Hub day.

  • HybridNeuro Hub Day: Clinical perspectives & challenges. Representatives of Slovenian clinical institutions have been invited to present state-of-the-art clinical practice and challenges in work with neural interfaces.
  • HybridNeuro Hub Day: Industry & key enabling technologies. Main industrial partners and regional development agencies have been invited to present their products and services and to express their challenges in the use of neural interfaces in applications. They will also present and discuss their expectations, topics and services that HybridNeuro Hub should and should not feature.

Join us for an enriching educational experience that promises to inspire and enhance the future of hybrid neural interfaces!


This Summer School has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement no. 101079392 and from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) government's Horizon Europe funding guarantee scheme under grant agreement no. 10052152.

Funded by the European Union Funded by UKRI