Early Stage Researchers missions

As part of their training, ESRs have the opportunity to participate in prestigious international conferences in neuro and bio-behavioural sciences, robotics and neurology and rehabilitation medicine. Travelling to conferences is also an effective way for them to disseminate results and learn how to communicate around their projects to different audiences.



MCAA General Assembly 2016, Venice, Italy


Marie-Curie-Alumni-General-Assembly 2016

© MCAA website

A group of PACE ESRs attended the General Assembly of the Marie Curie Alumni Association 2016 hosted by the University of Venice from 4 to 5 March.

The Marie Curie Alumni Association is open to any past or present Marie Curie researcher; i.e. any past or current beneficiary of funding under the European Commission’s Marie Curie programme, which encourages international mobility among researchers. The association is governed by a Board elected by the MCAA members; a small group of board members constitute an Executive Committee. Funding and support for the MCAA is provided by the European Commission (Directorate General for Education and Culture).

Kiana Mansour Pour (ESR1), James Mathew (ESR2), Amirhossein Jahani (ESR13) and Yeshasvi Venkata Sai Tirupachuri (ESR8) took the opportunity to network with former MSCA fellows as well as ESRs involved in other science fields.



NCM 26th Annual Meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica


© James Mathew

James Mathew (ESR2) and his Principal Investigator Frédéric Danion attended the Society for the Neural Control Movement (NCM) 26th Annual Meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

“ The Society for the Neural Control of Movement (NCM) is an international community of scientists, clinician-investigators and students all engaged in research whose common goal is to understand how the brain controls movement. NCM’s annual meetings have provided a forum for leading edge research, scholarly debate, the interchange of ideas and a platform for many exceptional established and emerging researchers in the field of Neural Science.”

James and Fred travelled to Montegobay from 24 to 29 April and presented a poster entitled: “What is the role of primary motor cortex in Eye-Hand coordination? A TMS study.





VSS Annual Meeting 2016 in Florida, USA


Ljubica Jovanovic (ESR3), Valentina Vencato (ESR5) and Lisa Knelange (ESR6) presented posters at the Vision Science Society (VSS) 16th Annual Meeting from 13 to 18 May in Florida:

“Recalibration to audiovisual simultaneity: Isight from temporal bisection task”, by Ljiubica Jovanovic, CNRS-Ecole normale supérieure

“Perception of saccadic reaction time in humans”, by Valentina Vencato, CNRS-Institut des Neurosciences de la Timone (INT)

“Increased variability in a temporal-coincidence task after\adaptation to delays: a possible explanation”, by Lisa Knelange, University of Barcelona

“The Vision Sciences Society is a non-profit membership organization of scientists who are interested in the functional aspects of vision. VSS was founded in 2001 with the main purpose of holding an annual meeting that brings together in one forum scientists from the broad range of disciplines that contribute to vision science, including visual psychophysics, neuroscience, computational vision and cognitive psychology. The scientific content of the meetings reflects the breadth of topics in modern vision science, from visual coding to perception, recognition and the visual control of action, as well as the recent development of new methodologies from cognitive psychology, computer vision and neuroimaging.”






Helmholtz Retreat in Schoorl, Netherlands


From 29 June to 1 July 2016, Jacob Nelson attended the Helmholtz Retreat (hosted by the Helmholtz Institute in the Netherlands). This was a three day retreat which consisted of a soft skills workshop as well as a number of psychology-related talks from various researchers in the Netherlands.

Helmholtz 2016 Schoorl

Summer School on Interdisciplinary Robotics, Cefalu - Sicily, Italy


Yeshasvi Tirupachuri (ESR 8) took part in the Summer School on Interdisciplinary Robotics from 10 to 13 July in Cefalu, Sicily (Italy). He presented a poster on “The control and representation of articulated objects – Insights from robots”.

Organised by APRIL, another ITN Marie Curie Network, this Summer School on “Interdisciplinary Robotics Research Methods” aimed to provide students with a series of lectures and hands-on practical lab sessions on research methods and robot technologies.
APRIL (Applications of Personal Robotics for Interaction and Learning) is the first Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Industrial Doctorate (ITN-EID) to train the next generation of researchers and engineers for the emerging field of personal robotics.”


Yeshasvi presentation

@Yeshasvi Tirupachuri


MSCA ESOF Satellite Event in Manchester, UK


Valentina Vencato, Yeshasvi Tirupachuri and Alessia Cacace attended the MSCA ESOF satellite event that took place in Manchester on 28-29 July 2016. They presented one poster together outlining their projects: “Perception and actions in complex environments: enhancing and restoring interaction in everyday life activities.”

This year’s theme was “Researcher and Society”, reflecting on the mission of the researcher vis-à-vis society, his/her moral duty to share his/her knowledge with the general public, and to be ethical and transparent when presenting scientific data.”

The EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) is a biennial, pan-European, general science conference dedicated to scientific research and innovation. Each conference aims to deliver stimulating content and lively debate around the latest advancements and discoveries in the sciences, humanities and social sciences.

ESOF brings together over 4,500 leading thinkers, innovators, policy makers, journalists and educators from more than 90 countries, to discuss current and future breakthroughs in contemporary science.





European Conference on Visual Perception in Barcelona, Spain


From 28 August to 1st September, Ljubica Jovanovic and Kiana Mansour Pour attended the ECVP 2016 in Barcelona, organized and hosted by the University of Barcelona, a PACE partner. Lisa Knelange, PACE fellow at UB assisted her PI Joan Lopez Moliner, who organized the conference.  She presented a poster on “The Nature of Error Signals in Adaptation”. Ljubica also presented a poster on “Perceived timing of multisensory events: temporal integration of visual and auditory information”.

The European Conference on Visual Perception is a travelling, annual meeting dedicated to scientific study of human visual perception. ECVP is highly interdisciplinary and attracts researchers and students from Psychology, Neurosciences, Optics, Computational Sciences and so on. Even though vision is the main topic, other sensory modalities are very well represented as well as the interactions between the different modalities (multisensory perception). The conference is open to both young and established scientists from Europe and other parts of the world. To encourage the widest possible participation, particularly among students, the meeting is held in a different European location each year.


Lisa Knelange presenting her poster and Eli Brenner, PACE partner at VU following another presentation



ESMAC 25th annual meeting in Seville, Spain


Adam Booth attended the 25th annual meeting of the European Society for Movement analysis in Adults and Children, in Seville (Spain) from 25th September to 1st October 2016. He presented an abstract published in Gait and Posture: “Real-time feedback to improve gait in children with cerebral palsy”.

The annual ESMAC meeting attracts clinicians and researchers from multiple disciplines such as orthopedics surgeons, neurologists, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, as well as physiotherapists, prosthetists, occupational therapists, human movement scientists, biomechanical/electrical/medical engineers, and others interested in human movement.

Processed with VSCO


10th annual meeting of the GDR Vision in Toulouse, France


Valentina Vencato, Kiana Mansour Pour, Anna Montagnini, Laurent Madelain and Joan Lopez Moliner from the PACE Network attended the 10th annual meeting of the GDR Vision in Toulouse on 3 and 4 November 2016.

The tenth international forum of the GDR-vision associates the French community working on visual perception. It follows the “GDR vision” days organized each year in Paris, Toulouse, Marseille, Lyon or Grenoble. See http://www.gdr-vision.org.

This year, Spanish and Portuguese Vision Scientists were invited to join the forum.


Valentina Vencato presenting at GDR Vision Toulouse


Dutch Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (DCRM) in Maastricht, the Netherlands


Adam Booth was invited to speak at the virtual reality symposium of the Dutch Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine on 10-11 November, in Maastricht where he presented his work on Real-time feedback.



Neuroscience 2016 - SFN in San Diego, USA


Valentina Vencato, Kiana Mansour Pour and James Mathew attended the international conference Neuroscience 2016, organised by the Society for Neuroscience  (SFN) from 12 to 16 November in San Diego. The PACE early stage researchers presented posters on:

Neuroscience holds an annual meeting and this year, more than 30,300 participants from 80 countries convened in San Diego for the world’s largest marketplace of ideas and tools for global neuroscience.

The Society for Neuroscience is the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 38,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.





DGNR, German Congress Rehab, Bonn, Germany


Adam Booth attended the DGNR in Bonn.

3rd DU and JCUH joint research seminar in Stockton, UK


Alessia Cacace attended the third Durham University and James Cook University Hospital Joint Research Seminar that took place on December 10th, in Stockton and presented a poster on “Hand Centred coordinate frames in posterior parietal cortex”.



NCM 2017 in Dublin, Ireland


From 2 to 5 May 2017, James Mathew (ESR2), his Principal Investigator Frédéric Danion, Amirhossein Jahani (ESR13) and his Principal Investigator Nicole Malfait attended the Society for the Neural Control Movement (NCM) 27th Annual Meeting in Dublin, Ireland.

James and Frédéric presented a poster entitled: “How dependent are the update of control and prediction during adaptation to visuomotor rotation?

Amirhossein and Nicole presented a poster entitled: ” Distinct modulations of beta-band activity by implicit and explicit adaptation processes in a reaching task”.


© James Mathew


EACD, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Adam attended the 29th European Academy of Childhood Disability meeting “Steps into the future”, held in Amsterdam from May 17 to May 20. He presented his work on real time visual feedback to improve gait in children with cerebral palsy.


The EACD is an academic association of professionals working with children with disability throughout Europe.

VSS Annual Meeting 2017 in Tampa, USA


Alix de Dieuleveult (ESR10), Valentina Vencato (ESR5), Ljubica Jovanovic (ESR3) and Lisa Knelange (ESR6) presented posters at the Vision Science Society (VSS) 17th Annual Meeting from 19 to 24 May in Florida:

Aging and Sensitivity to Illusory Target Motion”, by Alix de Dieuleveult, TNO

Timing in absence of the clock reset“, by Ljubica Jovanovic, ENS

“The relationship between baseline variability and adaptation to temporal delays in interception”, by Lisa Knelange, University of Barcelona

“Saccade latencies in an overlap paradigm when manipulating the stimuli timing, energy and transient changes”, by Valentina Vencato, INT

IMG_0407 IMG_0383

© Lisa Knelange

EFRR, Glasgow, UK


From May 24 to May 27, Adam Booth attended the 14th Congress of the European Forum for Research in Rehabilitation, host by Glasgow Caledonian University.

He presented a poster on ” Can real-time feedback in virtual reality improve gait in children with cerebral palsy?”.

SQAB 2017 in Denver, USA


Valentina Vencato attended the Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior 40th Annual Meeting that took place from May 25 to May 26 in Denver. She presented her work on Discrimination of Our Own Reaction Time.

IEEE World Haptics 2017 in Munich, Germany

Qinqi Xu attented the IEEE World Haptics 2017 that took place from June 6 to 9 in Munich. She presented her work on “Free manipulation facilitates bimanual integration in a haptic pliers’ size discrimination task”.

She also did a demonstration with Gabriel Baud-Bovy from PACE network on the minimum size difference needed to discriminate two pliers.


IEEE World Haptics is the premier international conference addressing all aspects related to haptics, covering the basic scientific underpinnings, technological developments, and algorithms and applications. It is a central venue for reporting research results and demonstrating novel capabilities in the field of haptics.

European Conference on Visual Perception 2017 in Berlin, Germany


From 27 August to 31st August, Valentina Vencato, Kiana Mansour Pour, Ljubica Jovanovic, Qinqi Xu and Alix Dedieuleveult attended the 40th European Conference on Visual Perception, in Berlin.

They presented posters:

Accurate saccadic reaction time discrimination in humans, by Valentina Vencato

How the dynamics of human smooth pursuit is influenced by speed uncertainty, by Kiana Mansour Pour

Timing an action and being confident about it, by Ljubica Jovanovic

and How a visual representation and mechanism complexity influence reaching with a tool by Qinqi Xu.


ICVR, Montreal, Canada


Desiderio Cano Porras attended the International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation 2017, held from June 19 to June 22 in Montreal, with his Principal Investigator, Meir Plotnik. He gave a talk on gait adaptation to conflictive visual flow in virtual environments and obtained the Best Presentation Award.


Desiderio, Meir Plotnik and their team.




ISPGR, Fort Lauderdale


From June 25 to June 29, Desiderio Cano Porras attended the World Congress of the International Society of Posture and Gait Research in Florida. He presented his work on gait adaptation to conflictive visual flow in virtual environments and obtained the Student Travel Award.



ESMAC, Trondheim, Norway


Adam Booth attended the 26th Annual Meeting of ESMAC. The meeting took place in Trondheim from September 6 to September 9. He presented his work on “Does real-time feedback on ankle power alter dynamic motor control in children with cerebral palsy?


The purpose of ESMAC (the European Society of Movement Analysis for Adults and Children) is to stimulate and advance scientific knowledge, professional interaction and the exchange of ideas among Society members relating to movement analysis in adults and children in clinical and research settings. ESMAC is multidisciplinary by nature, mainly interacting clinical and bioengineering disciplines, and ranging from basic sciences to applied practices. Our members are from many backgrounds: orthopaedic surgeons, physiatrist, physiotherapists, human movement scientists, biomechanical and biomedical engineers; as well as many others. ESMAC’s main event is an annual scientific congress which is normally preceded by an instructional course for gait analysis and topic symposia.

GDR vision 2017, Lille, France


This year, 3 ESRs participated to the 11th GRD vision meeting in Lille to present posters:

  • Voluntary tracking the moving clouds: Effects of speed variability on human smooth pursuit by Kiana Mansour Pour.
  • Perceived timing of a visual event is affected by eccentricity by Ljubica Jovanovic.
  • Saccadic and Movement Reaction Time discrimination in humans by Valentina Vencato.

Neuroscience 2017 SFN, Washington DC, USA


The 47th Annual Meeting took place in Washington DC from November 11th to November 15th.

Lisa Knelange gave a talk on movement speed variability predicts temporal adaptation during an interception task.

Jacob Nelson presented a poster on ” Spatial representation of the workspace in blind, low vision and sighted human participants“.




© Jacob Nelson

NVP Wintercongres in Egmond, Netherlands


Alix Dedieuleveult attended the NVP Wintercongres that was held from December 14 to December 16 and presented a poster on “Aging and Sensitivity to Illusory Target Motion“.



Amsterdam Movement Sciences Research Meeting 2018


On February 16th 2018, Alix de Dieuleveut, Jacob Nelson and Adam Booth attended the 2nd AMS Annual Meeting in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Adam presented a poster entitled: “Biofeedback in virtual reality to improve gait in children with cerebral palsy”.



Karniel Computational Motor Control Workshop


Jana Maresch, Qinqi Xu, Valentina Vencato, James Mathew, Desiderio Cano Porras and Lisa Knelange attended the fourteenth CMCW held by PACE partner, Ben Gurion University, in Beer Sheva from March 13 to 15. The PACE early stage researchers presented posters on:

  • Explicit learning during visuomotor adaptation constitutes of two distinct components, Jana Maresch
  • Transfer of learning between eye and hand tracking when adapting to a visuomotor rotation, James Mathew
  • Vision and gravity in inclined planes: a VR study of perception and action coupling, Desiderio Cano Porras
  • The unity assumption in haptic size discrimination tasks: when does bimanual integration occur?, Qinqi Xu

Desiderio Cano Porras obtained the 3rd best poster award.


The Probabilistic Brain Workshop, Durham, UK


From March 23 to 24th, Alessia Cacace (ESR12) participated to The Probabilistic Brain Workshop.

NCM 2018 in Santa Fe, USA


From May 1 to 4, Jana Maresch (ESR16) and Frédéric Danion (James Mathew’s Principal investigator) attended the 28th NCM Annual Meeting in Santa Fe. They presented their work on:

  • Separate effects of handedness on prediction and control of hand movement by James Mathew
  • A Computational description of hand centerd vectors in human Posterior Parietal Cortex by Jana Maresch


24th Nordic Congress of Gerontology in Oslo, Norway


On May 2 to 4, Alix de Dieuleveult (ESR10) presented her work on Aging And Sensitivity To Illusory Target Motion at the 24th Nordic Congress of Gerontology.


The Nordic Congress of Gerontology is organized by the Nordic Gerontological Federation, the Norwegian Gerontology Society (NSA) and the Norwegian Geriatric Society (NGF).The Nordic gerontological congresses emphasise multidisciplinary perspectives on ageing and the life course, and are organized every other year by one of the five Nordic countries. Traditionally a congress for Nordic researchers, the NKG has in recent years developed into an important meeting place attracting researchers from all over the world. The theme for this 2018 congress is “Lessons of a life time”. 

VSS Annual Meeting 2018 in Tampa, USA


Alix de Dieuleveult (ESR10), Valentina Vencato (ESR5), Ljubica Jovanovic (ESR3), James Mathew (ESR2) and Lisa Knelange (ESR6) presented posters at the Vision Science Society (VSS) 18th Annual Meeting from 18 to 23 May in Florida:

  • Aging And Sensitivity To Illusory Target Motion by Alix de Dieuleveult
  • Talk on Measurement noise explains lack of adaptation to gradual delays by Lisa Knelange
  • Transfer of visuomotor adaptation between eye and hand tracking by James Mathew
  • When a visual event is perceived depends on where it is presented by Ljubica Jovanovic
  • Saccadic and Movement Reaction Time discrimination in humans by Valentina Vencato

As Kiana Mansour Pour (ESR1) was not able to attend because of visa’s issue, Anna Montagnini, her Principal Investigator, presented her poster on Speed uncertainty and motion perception with naturalistic random textures.


James Mathew presenting his poster


Eurohaptics 2018 in Pisa, Italy


Qinqi Xu (ESR9) attended the eurohaptics conference in Pisa from June 13 to 18.


Eurohaptics is a major international conference on haptics and touch enabled computer applications, and the primary European meeting for researchers in this field.

World Congress of Biomechanics in Dublin, Ireland


Adam Booth attended the 8th World Congress of Biomechanics in Dublin from 8 to 12 July to present his work on Neuromuscular Control Changes in Response to Biofeedback on Gait in Children with Cerebral Palsy and Biofeedback in virtual reality to improve gait in children with cerebral palsy.


The World Congress of Biomechanics is held once every 4 years and is the premier meeting worldwide in its field.

Cognitive Robotics Summer School in Boston, USA


From July 23 to 27, Yeshasvi Tirupachuri (ESR8) attended the 2nd Cognitive Robotics Summer School hosted by the MIT in Boston.The goal of this unique summer school is to help catalyze the next generation of planning researchers in AI and robotics, to work together to develop robots that are capable at both the task and motion levels.