ESR7 - 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.

TAGS   Biological Touch   Prosthetics   Technologies for Touch

Overview

Objectives

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. To this end, we will develop and validate a robust computational method that translates sensor input into spiking output, as well as modifying existing spiking models to deliver real-time output. Additionally, the touch sensors will be integrated into a setup that tracks human hand movements and contact forces, and we will collect a data set of human touch interactions during object grasping and manipulation. This data set will provide novel insights into how humans exploit their sense of touch and which tactile features underlie manipulation and grasping skills.

Expected Results

On the technical side, this project will deliver a method to convert touch sensor activations into realistic tactile population responses. These results will feed into neuroprosthetics and robotics, specifically through the secondment at UNIBI. On the scientific side, this project will enable a better understanding of how human use touch, and specifically which features are important for grasping and manipulation: these results will therefore guide future development of neuroprosthetic feedback algorithms and novel tactile sensors.

Secondments

  • UGOT

    study transduction in tactile afferents

  • IIT-CNCS

    learn data analysis, feature extraction and information theory

  • UNIBI

    implement neural representation of tactile stimuli

Supervisors

  • H. Saal

  • J. Wessberg

  • S. Panzeri

  • E. Chicca

Giulia Corniani

I have always been fascinated by the complexity and mysteriousness of the human brain. I first got closer to neuroscience during my master thesis traineeship working with Brain-Computer Interfaces. After that experience, I knew Neuroscience was definitely my topic

Neutouch for me

The thing I like the most about this project is that we are a melting pot of backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. The best characteristic of NeuTouch is its multidisciplinarity: we face the same issue from different perspectives and merging our knowledge we might be able to reach innovative and outstanding solutions.

Info

  • Research Topics

    Biology & Computational Neuroscience

  • Institution

    University of Sheffield

  • Background

    B.Sc. Information engineering (Università degli Studi di Padova, 2013- 2016)
    M.Sc. Bioengineering (Università degli Studi di Padova, 2016-2018)

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 813713 ).
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