Past Events

1/ 03.02.21

Brain on the move

Joaquin Álvaro Penalver-Andres


PhD Student

ARTORG Center Bern

Solaiman Shokur


Senior Scientist


Talk 1: Electroencephalographic biomarkers of attention observed among healthy participants performing a motor task.

Joaquin Álvaro Penalver-Andres, University of Bern)

Motor learning is a complex cognitive and motor process. Especially during early phases of training, cognitive processes such as attention are important to discover task-relevant stimuli. By providing explicit information about task rules, attention may be drawn towards task-relevant stimuli, supporting motor learning. In this talk, we will see how enforcing task rules using explicit verbal task instructions or visual cues modulates attentional brain networks engaged during motor learning and results in motor performance improvements.

Joaquín Peñalver de Andrés is a PhD student with the Motor Learning and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory of the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research at the University of Bern. His PhD project aims to find electroencephalographic biomarkers reflecting cognitive functions during motor learning. Joaquin received his BSc and MSc in Control and Electronic Engineering from the University of Vigo (Spain) and TU München (Germany) in 2013 and his MSc in Biomedical Engineering from the TU Delft (Netherlands) and ETH Zürich (Switzerland) in 2018.

Talk 2: Clinical application of a bidirectional Brain-machine interface

(Solaiman Shokur, EPFL)


Dr. Solaiman Shokur is a Senior Scientist at the Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Translational Neuroengineering in Geneva. Previous work of Solaiman Shokur included the development virtual reality-based brain-machine interface for rhesus monkeys and closed-loop brain-machine interfaces that integrated both motor and tactile functions.  From 2015 to 2019, he was the research coordinator at the Alberto Santos Dumont Association for Research Support in Sao Paulo Brazil, where he was in charge of the development of neurorehabilitation tools for patients with spinal cord injury. He also coordinated a long-term training protocol (28 months) integrating non-invasive brain-machine interfaces with visuotactile feedback and locomotion, which demonstrated unprecedented levels of neurological recovery in patients with most severe cases of spinal cord injury. His work was nominated for Brain-computer interfaces award 2019. 

Dr. Shokur has obtained his PhD with distinctions at the EPFL in 2013 under the supervision of Prof. Miguel Nicolelis and Hannes Bleuler, on development of the first virtual-reality training system for non-human primates. From 2010 to 2012 he was a visiting scientist at Duke University.

In 2014 he was chosen to represent the Walk Again Project (WAP) for the opening ceremony of the World Cup, where an SCI patient trained by Dr Shokur and the WAP team used a lower-limb exoskeleton for a symbolic first shoot.


2/ 03.03.21

Presentation of the Animal Welfare Office of the University of Bern

Isabelle Desbaillets


Animal Welfare Officer

University of Bern

Homare Yamahachi


Deputy 3Rs Coordinator

University of Bern

Talk 1: Presentation of the Animal Welfare Office of the University of Bern

Isabelle Desbaillets, University of Bern)

Talk 2: Do you actually understand the 3Rs Principles? Let’s discuss the practical implementations.

(Homare Yamahachi, University of Bern)

Homare Yamahachi finished his Biology degree at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina before obtaining his PhD in the Gilbert lab at The Rockefeller University, USA. During his doctoral studies, Homare discovered that changes in sensory experience alter neuronal structural plasticity in vivo using viral vectors and two-photon microscopy. During his postdoc in the Moser lab in Norway, he studied how the brain computes space to navigate the world. Homare then studied social communication in birds with an emphasis on animal welfare in the Hahnloser lab at UZH and ETHZ. Currently, Homare is involved in coordinating the 3Rs Principles of Animal Experimentation at the University of Bern and serves on the Swiss 3R Competence Centre’s Executive Board. Besides his involvement in the 3Rs, Homare also works in the Sendoel Lab, UZH.