Agnès Roby-Brami (MD, Ph D in Neurosciences), Neurorehabilitation and upper-limb coordination in stroke patients or spinal injured pateints.

Course and current status

Professional address : Insitute of Intelligent Systems and robotics

University Pierre et Marie Curie, CNRS UMR 7222

4 place Jussieu

Tel : 33 1 44 27 62 15    

Education :

2000, University Habilitation.

PhD 1991, University Paris VI, Paris, France.

MS, 1982, University Paris VI, Paris, France

MD, 1982, University Paris V, Paris, France.

1977 – 1982, Internship in various Paris Hospitals, including general medicine, neurology, clinical neurophysiology and neurological rehabilitation.

Professional activity:

1983 – present: Faculty at INSERM.

Research director since 2004.

Laboratory affiliations

2012-current: Insitute of Intelligent Systems and robotics. University Pierre et Marie Curie, CNRS UMR 7222, directed by Philippe Bidaud.


2001 – 2011 CNRS UMR 8119 (University Paris Descartes). Neurophysics and physiology, directed by Claude Meunier.

1992 – 2000: INSERM U483 Cerebral plasticity and adaptation of visual and motor function directed by Yves Burnod.

1983 – 1992: INSERM laboratory Neurological Motor Disability and Development directed by Catherine Tardieu.

Teaching experience :

1998 – current : master level courses in motor control and motor disability (University Paris V, Paris VI).

1983 – current : Regular courses to medical staff.

 Main Projects and funding :

2011-current: member of the management committee of the COST-ESF European Network on Robotics for NeuroRehabilitation

2007- 2010 European project Hand To Mouth (NEST)

2007- 2010 French ANR Project (PSIROB) on rehabilitation robotics.

2003-2006: PHRC AP-HP program (Clinical Research Program of Paris Hospitals): with Y. Rossetti “Understand and decrease motor handicap

2000- 2002 : INSERM-FRSQ cooperative grant with M. LEVIN (Montréal).

2000 - 2001: National grant in cognitive science (Praxis and Apraxia).

1999 – 2001 : European BIOMED-CRAFT project in assistive robotics COMMANUS.

1995-2000 : Two projects respectively directed by E. Pierrot-Deseilligny and B. Bussel, funded by PHRC AP-HP.

1998 – 1999 : Coordination of a project funded by AFM (French Muscular Dystrophy Association). “Motor disability and adaptation of man-machine interaction

1993 - 1996 : Coordination of a French project "Sensorimotor learning and assistive aids” funded by the CNAMTS (National Health Insurance).

Scientific summary

Neurorehabilitation and upper-limb coordination in stroke patients or spinal injured pateints. 

My research interest focuses on the mechanisms of motor control and its plasticity in healthy subjects and in hemiparetic stroke patients. I consider in particular the question of the coordination of the redundant upper-limb for reaching and grasping which is still largely disputed.

With my colleagues, we tackle complementary aspects of this question: first, the development of kinematic methods and models, second, the role of sensori-motor interactions for learning and recovery, third the development of technological means (virtual reality and robotics) dedicated to assistance and/or rehabilitation of sensorimotor disabilities. To that purpose, I recently joined ISIR (institute for intelligent systems and robotics).

Our final aim is to better understand the process of motor learning in the context of recovery after a neural lesion.

In more details:

We use an innovative kinematic method based on electromagnetic sensor for the analysis of the trunk and upper-limb configuration during reaching and grasping, including the scapula. The scapula has complex 3D rotations and translation during arm elevation and during most functional gestures, a fact that has generally been overlooked..

The Kinematic analysis of upper-limb movements in Hemiparetic stroke patients allows to separate the direct consequences of the brain lesion (slowness, disruption of elbow and shoulder coordination, abnormal synergies) and the new motor strategy developed by the patients to compensate the impairment, in particular trunk flexion. We use this framework to follow the recovery and to evaluate new therapeutic approaches (augmented feedback, computer games, botulinum toxin and to develop robot-assisted rehabilitation in collaboration with roboticists (Pr Morel, ISIR, P. Garrec CEA-LIST).

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