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WS3 - Muscle Synergies: Looking into the CNS

How does the central nervous system coordinate muscles?
The experimental evidences collected in the last twenty years support the hypothesis that muscles are recruited following a simplified modular structure. According to this hypothesis, a low set of modules, called muscle synergies, account for the coordination of a high number of muscles. Recent studies demonstrated that such modular organization is maintained in healthy subject and visibly affected in neurologically impaired people.

We believe that the analysis of muscles synergies in the clinical scenario has great potential for:
1) Improving the assessment of pathologic neuromuscular coordination
2) Driving neurorehabilitation strategies based on on-line estimation of muscle activity

The mathematical and technological tools developed so far allow extracting muscle synergies in a rapid and reliable way. For this reason we propose a practical experience where participants can touch with hand the most recent techniques and meet some of the major experts in this field.


Diego Torricelli
Andrea D'Avella
Yuri Ivanenko


Participants will:
1) Understand what muscle synergies are.
2) Learn how to extract synergies during a real experimental session.
3) Learn how to interpret the synergies and discover the clinical implications.
4) Experience how to use muscle synergies in a rehabilitation scenario.


Please, see organizers

Number of hours

Total 9 hours: 3 hours theoretical lessons & 6 hours practical hands-on exercises


Sept 16 Sept 17 Sept 18
14.30-16.00 (Theoretical) Muscle Synergies: Potential for Clinical Applications (Practical) Measuring Synergies (Practical) Synergies and Rehabilitation
16.00-16.30 Coffee break
16.30-18.00 (Practical) Software Tools for Analysis (Practical) Interpreting Synergies (Theoretical) Unsolved Questions and Future Challenges


Expected audience

Both clinical and engineering profile. This WS is designed for students with interest in the following research topics:
- New methods for diagnostics of neuromuscular functions/diseases
- Motor learning and adaptations

Previous knowledge

No required knowledge. Recommended: Experience on EMG measurement.

Topics in which the PhD students will get insight

Neuromuscular analysis, EMG-driven rehabilitation

HW/SW that the participant need to bring/install



GUI User Manual