The ISEK Congress will include a series of workshops included in your registration fee and scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 12, 2020. Please see the various descriptions below.

Workshop 1 – Multidisciplinary approaches to quantify sensorimotor control and adaptation of skilled and pathological hand movements

Starts on Saturday, July 11 at 23:30 GMT continues to July 12 till 2:30 GMT

Presenters: Marco Santello, Arizona State University; Tomohiko Takei, Kyoto University; Shinichi Furuya, Sony Inc.; Natsue Yoshimura, Tokyo Institute of Technology


Neural control of the human hand relies on complex interactions among multiple levels of the nervous system. Traumatic and neurological injuries challenge the nervous system’s ability to control skilled hand movements. The goals of the workshop are (1) to provide an overview of the hand’s control system and biomechanics and (2) describe how complementary research approaches can advance our understanding of physiological sensorimotor control of the hand and provide insights into rehabilitation approaches for improving sensorimotor function. Dr. Tomohiko Takei’s presentation will focus on design of electrophysiological experiments to investigate neural mechanisms for sensorimotor control in non-human models (primates) and humans. Dr. Takei will describe techniques including single-unit recordings from cerebral cortex and spinal cord, as well as large-scale electromyography (EMG) and neuromodulatory approaches (Cooling and DREADD). Dr. Marco Santello’s presentation will address design of behavioral approaches for inferring sensorimotor control mechanisms (e.g., grasping and dexterous manipulation at unconstrained contacts; response inhibition) and integration with neuromodulation and electrophysiological approaches for system identification purposes. Dr. Santello will present approaches through published and ongoing studies consisting of electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation, continuous theta burst stimulation, and transcranial focused ultrasound stimulation for system identification purposes. Dr. Shinichi Furuya will describe design of data science approaches for extracting sensorimotor skills and disorders using multivariate analyses and machine learning techniques in highly trained individuals. Dr. Furuya will describe approaches including a combination of recording with motion capture and EMG with dimensionality reduction analyses (e.g. PCA and NMF) and penalized regression analyses (e.g. LASSO and ridge regression), which identify specific kinematic and neuromuscular features associated with enhancement and degradation of motor performance. Dr. Natsue Yoshimura will describe design of behavioral and neuroimaging approaches for estimating sensorimotor control and sensory feedback using non-invasive methods. Through the integration of robotic (KINARM) and machine learning approaches, Dr. Yoshimura will cover several data analytical methods, such as cortical current source estimation, neural decoding, EEG-based connectivity analysis, functional and structural MRI, and diffusion tensor images (DTI). The workshop takeaway knowledge or material that attendees will acquire include: basic understanding of experimental design, approaches, and analytical methods to identify neural control mechanisms and adaptation processes.

Workshop 2 – Advanced assessment of mechanical and neural properties of isometric and dynamic contractions: Perspectives for sports performance and sports medicine

July 12, 6:00 – 9:00 GMT

Presenters: Anderson Oliveira, Aalborg University; Francesco Negro, University of Brescia; Eduardo Martinez-Valdes, University of Birmingham; Andrew Cresswell, University of Queensland; Alberto Botter, Politecnico de Torino


Assessing the pattern of muscle contraction is an essential part of research dedicated to describe or modify human movement. There are methodological advances towards improving the accuracy and relevance of data extracted during muscle actions, which are also highly relevant for professionals involved in sports performance and sports medicine worldwide. For instance, surface EMG has been extensively used to describe neural control of movements, despite widely known limitations regarding the extraction of neural strategies to control movements during dynamic EMG recordings. These limitations might be overcome using combined methods such as ultra-sound and high-density EMG, and professionals from sports and exercise sciences may highly benefit from such advanced assessments. The goals of this workshop are: 1) To provide basic background on the current methods to assess mechanical and neural properties of the muscle function and exploring their limitations in the assessment of isometric or dynamic contractions; 2) To provide an overview on the usage of both ultra-sound and multi-channel surface EMG for the assessment of muscle mechanics and neural modulation, specifically in exercise and sport sciences; 3) To demonstrate the strengths and limitations of using ultra-sound and multichannel surface EMG to describe muscle function in dynamic contractions, offering participants hands-on experiences on such method and subsequent data analysis.

Workshop 3 – Transferring the high-density surface EMG-based motor unit identification to practice: recent progresses and challenges

July 12, 12:00- 15:00 GMT

Presenters: Ales Holobar, University of Maribor; Deren Barsakcioglu, Imperial College London; Alessandro Del Vecchio, Imperial College London; Dario Farina, Imperial College London


Motor unit identification from high-density surface electromyograms (HDEMG) is maturing fast and gaining popularity in different research fields. Research groups around the globe are proving its potential in relatively large variety of neurophysiological investigations. However, its transfer to everyday neurologic, neurophysiologic, rehabilitation and ergonomic practice is still a challenge that needs full scientific and engineering attention. Quality control and the representativeness of the identified neural codes is still not fully established and while being non-invasive, the HDEMG acquisition is still not unobtrusive. Also the computational power needed for identification of motor units in real time calls for the novel technical solutions. In this workshop, we will present and discuss the recent progresses in the HDEMG acquisition and analysis. The focus will be on the quality control of motor unit identification and real-time neural codes identification, but the other classical topics of motor unit identification and neural information extraction in various experimental conditions will also be addressed and discussed. Different case studies will be presented, along with explanations of their main methodological steps.

MTG Vendor Workshop – Applications and Possibilities of Electrical Muscle Stimulation.  Building the future of Electrical Muscle Stimulation devices

July 12, 9:15 – 11:45 GMT

Presenters: Toshio Moritani, University of Kyoto; Brian Caulfield, University College Dublin; Kohei Watanabe, Chukyo University; Aya Tomita, Chukyo University; Yuichi Nishikawa, Kanazawa University; Pranali Kulkarni MTG Co., Ltd


Toshio Moritani:

Neurodegenerative diseases and sarcopenia become more prevalent as individuals age and, therefore, represent a serious issue for the healthcare system. Recent evidence highlights the potential for EMS to make a major impact on lifestyle related diseases and its role as a useful modality for orthopedic and cardiac rehabilitation. In this workshop, fundamental knowledge for understanding proper electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) procedures and its applications will be summarized. The special lecture will cover the following topics:

1. Review of past EMS procedures and problems

2. High frequency fatigue: the nature of force decline during EMS

3. Proper stimulation frequency for EMS

4. Clinical EMS applications for metabolic and orthopedic patients

5. Possible EMS for prevention and improvement of dementia and cancer”

Brian Caulfield:

NMES has been used as a means of augmenting voluntary exercise in rehabilitation and exercise science for over 150 years.  In the intervening period we have seen many developments in NMES technologies, and today we are in the midst of a very exciting period where NMES systems are becoming truly ‘wearable’ and ‘smart’ and researchers are developing a range of new applications to meet the needs of patients and sportspeople who wish to enhance performance capacity. One of the most exciting developments in NMES at a therapeutic level is the body of research that has expanded its use as an aerobic training modality.  In this talk we provide a high level summary of a programme of research that has leveraged low frequency NMES applications to elicit sub-tetanic isometric contractions in large lower extremity muscle groups and induce cardiovascular responses that are consistent with aerobic exercise.  This approach has been refined over a number of studies that have seen it applied in healthy and clinical cohorts.  Here we present results from studies that have investigated acute and training responses in healthy cohorts across the lifespan and in patient cohorts including  COPD, heart failure, spinal cord injury, and diabetes.  Finally, we present recent research that has involved the development of an individualized progression framework that enables the application of a hybrid strengthening and aerobic NMES programme in cancer rehabilitation.  Initial results from case studies, case series and prospective studies suggest that NMES can play an important role in cancer rehabilitation in the home and community.

Kohei Watanabe:

Exercise is an essential component for the prevention and improvement of life-style diseases and age-related motor dysfunctions.  While low-intensity aerobic exercises such as walking and jogging have been widely developed, high intensity exercises such as resistance exercises have also recently come to be recommended as a way to activate fast twitch muscle fibers or to enhance glucose metabolism.  However, unlike low-intensity aerobic exercises, it is not easy to apply high intensity exercises to older adults or to those who are not accustomed to such exercises.  Electrical myo-stimulation (EMS) has been used as a tool for physical therapy and health promotion and is also known to lead preferential recruitment of fast type motor units theoretically and then to enhance glucose metabolism when compared to voluntary exercises.  Because of the physiological advantages of EMS, a combination of voluntary aerobic exercise paired with EMS may be a viable alternative to high intensity exercises.  In addition, a combined EMS and high intensity exercise regimen would be helpful reducing exercise time and may be also be useful for people who don’t have enough time to do both aerobic and resistance exercises.  In this talk, I’ll introduce our recent research on physiological responses during additional electrical myo-stimulation to voluntary exercises and its potential as a new type of exercise.

Aya Tomita:

Today’s topic is about stimulus frequency in neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). Stimulus frequency is associated with development evoked torque directly and an important element for “optimal” NMES condition. The relationship between evoked force and stimulus frequency have been usable to investigate muscle contractile properties. It is assumed that there is also individual difference in “optimal frequency”, it’s the point of reaching to tetanic contraction in this presentation. I’d like to consider about the effect of stimulus frequency using fatiguing task with NMES based on our presentation in this conference. Let’s discuss about the role of frequency in NMES and consider about further possibility of NMES. 

Yuichi  Nishikawa:

The Japanese population is aging rapidly. In 2015, the number of the elderly people individuals aged > 65 years was 33.92 million. This number is increasing and is expected to reach 38.87 million by 2042. Although declines in mobility are often multifactorial, muscle strength is an important factor in the prevention of falls and the progression of orthopedic disorders. However, in terms of safety, it is difficult to adapt heavy weight training regimens for elderly people. Previously, electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) has been effective for increasing muscle mass and reversing muscle atrophy caused by several diseases. Therefore, EMS is an important intervention tool in the rehabilitation field.

In this workshop, our research achieves for the clinical application of EMS for elderly people will be summarized the following topics:

1. Effect of EMS on muscle strength, thickness, and muscle activation pattern in locomotive syndrome.

2. Effect of EMS on muscle mass and balance function in elderly people with dementia.

3. Future research plan.

Pranali Kulkarni:

As a commercial manufacturer of Electrical Muscle Stimulation equipment, I would like to present the applications of EMS in front of you.

I would like to talk briefly about EMS Brand SIXPAD’s products and also about the Product development and research results that have been carried out at SIXPAD.

Thanks to our sponsors and exhibitors

Special thanks to: