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Scientific conference Tutored Seminar

NeuroSchool seminar: Sliman Bensmaia

Biological and bionic hands: Natural neural coding and artificial perception

On Monday, 19 june 2023, the NeuroSchool PhD Program will invite Sliman Bensmaia in LNC, St-charles, to give a seminar on the biological and bionic hands: Natural neural coding and artificial perception
Sliman Bensmaia is a Professor in University of Chicago, USA.

Our ability to manipulate objects dexterously relies fundamentally on sensory signals originating from the hand. To restore motor function with upper-limb neuroprostheses requires that somatosensory feedback be provided to the amputee or tetraplegic patient. Given the complexity of state-of-the-art prosthetic limbs, and thus the huge state-space they can traverse, it is desirable to minimize the need for the user to learn associations between events impinging upon the limb and arbitrary sensations. With this in mind, we seek to develop approaches to intuitively convey sensory information that is critical for object manipulation through electrical activation of sensory neurons in the nerves or in the somatosensory cortex. To this end, we leverage our understanding of natural neural coding to construct encoding algorithms for artificial touch

Monday, June 19, 2023, îlot Bernard Dubois near St-Charles

The schedule is as follows:

  • 1:00 pm – Discussion among students to discuss the papers  – For PhD students only
  • 2:00 pm – Seminar – Open to all 
  • 3:00 pm – Special discussion time with the speaker for PhD students

📢 PhD students: register on AMETICE and remember to sign the presence sheet in order for your hours to be counted. Attendants get 3 hours, chairpersons 4 hours.


Have your AMU card with you to access the site. Otherwise, please register below so that we can ask for access.

Register to Sliman Bensmaia seminar

Seminaire S.Bensmaia 19/06/2023


Sliman Bensmaia is the James and Karen Frank Family Professor in the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and in the Committee on Computational Neuroscience at the University of Chicago.

The main objective of his research is to discover how sensory information is encoded in the activity of neurons along the somatosensory neuraxis, spanning the senses of touch and proprioception, in primates. To this end, his team records neuronal responses, measures the elicited percepts, and develops mathematical models to link neuronal representations to behavior. Bensmaia's team is also working toward restoring the sense of touch in bionic hands for amputees, through electrical interfaces with the nerves, or for people with tetraplegia, through electrical interfaces with the peripheral and central nervous systems.

A widely published author, Bensmaia has spoken at dozens of invited talks and symposia and holds five patents. He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the American Physiological Society, and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Bensmaia's webpage

Any thoughts ?