Research Theme 1

Characterization of spiking activity of tactile afferents
Determine how the stimulus characteristics are reflected in the spiking activity of neural afferents, and the relationship between spiking activity and elicited sensations.

Research Theme 2

Sensory feedback for prosthetic devices
Understand the basic principle of tactile encoding and define effective ways to implement it in a neuroprosthetic device, by defining optimal stimulation protocols (both invasive and non-invasive) to elicit appropriate perception.

Research Theme 3

Active sensing strategies and perceptual coding
Examine how rats execute motor strategies to optimize sensory inputs and the neuronal coding of vibration features at multiple stages of peripheral and cortical processing.

Research Theme 4

Memory-based tactile perception and task-relevant action selection in robots
To develop, and implement in robots, a biologically-inspired mathematical model of how spatiotemporal patterns of tactile information can be efficiently encoded and recalled for the selection of action and control of behavior.

Research Theme 5

Neural coding representation of behaviorally relevant tactile features
Develop information theoretic methods, based on the new concept of intersection information, to measure how much tactile information carried by a spiking neural code is used to implement specific behaviors in perceptual-guided tasks.

Research Theme 6

Spiking Neural Networks for information representation and decoding
Using information-theoretic computational analyses of real spike trains, based on the concept of intersection information, we will determine how information about tactile stimuli is carried by neuronal populations, from peripheral to central at various levels, and how the representation at a given stage of processing is read out to give rise to progressively determining the final percept and its use for the task.

Research Theme 7

A spiking model of realistic human tactile interactions
This project aims to improve current population spiking models of peripheral tactile responses such that they can be directly coupled to an appropriate touch sensor and deliver realistic tactile feedback in real-time.

Research Theme 8

Optimization and integration of spiking tactile sensors on prosthetic devices
The goal of this activity the development of spiking skin for sensory feedback on prosthetic devices.

Research Theme 9

Soft electrodes for tactile feedback
Improved residual peripheral nerve stimulation by means of novel soft intraneural electrodes. The fellow will develop new soft electrodes (based on PDMS or polyimide) to improve coupling between neural tissue and stimulating electrodes.

Research Theme 10

Learning to find and operate switches
Using both, tactile and visual feedback, a robot should learn to operate various kinds of switches, knobs, etc.

Research Theme 11

Active touch and behaviour
Implementation of spiking tactile neural encoding on a humanoid robot, development of decoding strategies for perception and behavior generation.

Research Theme 12

Grasping and Manipulation
Implementation of spiking tactile system on a 7-DoF manipulator and development of manipulation algorithms for stable grasping of objects of different shape and softness.

Research Theme 13

Multi-transduction neuromorphic skin
Development of a novel artificial sensitive skin based on different physical transduction technologies of the tactile physical contact with spike-based neural encoding

Research Theme 14

Neural nanowire based tactile skin
Develop self-powered e-skin with neural nanowire field effect transistors based neural data processing hardware.

Research Theme 15

Neuromorphic embedded processing for touch
Identification of neural network architectures for reproducing biological receptive field responses and implementation in neuromorphic hardware.
Researchers
This project is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 813713 (NeuTouch)
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