Advanced biomedical signal processing techniques to investigate motor control, motor impairment, and neurorehabilitation outcome in patients with motor disabilities

Group: Biomedical Signal Processing and Interpretation and Institut Guttmann
Group leader: Raimon Jané (rjane@ibecbarcelona.eu) and Joan Vidal Samsó (jvidal@guttmann.com)

Research project


This research project will be co-directed by the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (PI: Dr. Raimon Jané, Group Leader of the Biomedical Signal Processing & Interpretation Group, BIOSPIN) and the lnstitut Guttmann (PI: Dr. Joan Vidal, responsible for the program on “Neuroreparation and advanced therapies”).

The main objective is the development of novel biomedical signal interpretation techniques to study neurological disorders and develop new neurorehabilitation strategies.

Some of the references that show the work that has been developed by the group related to this field include:

  • “Analysis of the interlimb similarity of motor patterns for improving stroke assessment and neurorehabilitation” (2016), PhD Thesis by Oiane Urra, directed by Dr. Jané. Joint project of BIOSPIN (IBEC) and Institut Guttmann.
  • Y. Castillo-Escario, M. Rodríguez-Cañón, G. García-Alías and R. Jané. Onset Detection to Study Muscle Activity in Reaching and Grasping Movements in Rats. in Proc. 41st Annu. Int. Conf. IEEE Eng. Med. Biol. Soc. (EMBC) 2019, 5113–5116.
  • M. Rodríguez-Cañón, I. Delgado, R. Jané, and G. García-Alías. Temporal Categorization of Upper Limb Muscle’s EMG Activity During Reaching and Grasping. In Converging clinical and engineering research on neurorehabilitation III. Springer: Berlin, Germany, 2018, p. 876–879.
  • Y. Castillo-Escario, I. Ferrer-Lluís, J. M. Montserrat and R. Jané. Automatic Silence Events Detector from Smartphone Audio Signals: A Pilot mHealth System for Sleep Apnea Monitoring at Home. IEEE Access, 2019, 7, 128224–128241.
  • H. Kumru, M. Kofler, J. Valls-Sole and J. Vidal. Brainstem reflex excitability after high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in healthy and spinal cord injury subjects. Brain. Res. Bull. 2019, 147, 86–91.

Job position


This PhD position is defined in the research project described in the previous section, and it is proposed within the framework of the scientific collaboration between IBEC and Institut Guttmann, under Specific Agreement signed in October 2019. The PhD funded by an INPhINIT grant will be co-supervised by Dr. Raimon Jané (GL BIOSPIN-IBEC) and Dr. Joan Vidal (PI Neuroreparation and advanced therapies, Institut Guttmann).

The job position will consist of the proposal and development of novel biomedical signal interpretation techniques for the study and evaluation of motor control and related disabilities in neurological disorders, and the design and development of new personalized neurorehabilitation strategies. These tools and algorithms will be tested both on healthy control subjects and patients with neurological disorders such as spinal cord injury (SCI) or stroke.

The specific objectives and tasks to be achieved include:

  • Analysis of muscle activity to characterize the patterns of human body movements. This will be done from the information of electromyographic signals (EMG), evoked potentials, kinematics, or other biomedical signals, recorded either with classical equipment or novel wearable sensors.
  • Assessment of the effects of neurorehabilitation protocols based on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), brain or spinal cord stimulation and/or robotic exoskeletons, in motor function recovery
  • Evaluation of respiratory activity, ventilation parameters, and sleep quality in patients with spinal cord injury