ESR1 - Characterization of Spiking Activity and Tactile Afferents

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.

TAGS   Biological Touch   Prosthetics   Technologies for Touch

Overview

Objectives

Determine how the stimulus characteristics are reflected in the spiking activity of neural afferents, and the relationship between spiking activity and elicited sensations. This project will study the spiking activity of single, identified tactile receptors in the human skin: their responses to complex tactile stimuli (such as natural textures, motion, stretch, or active exploration) and the relationship between spiking activity, brain processing, and elicited sensations of touch. This objective will be achieved by using two advanced techniques, such as microneurography coupled with intraneural microstimulation. Insights into the human tactile system will be applied for advances in robotics and prosthetics.

Expected Results

New insights into coding of tactile information in the different classes of human tactile afferents, with bearing on discriminative and emotional sense of touch.

Secondments

  • IIT-CNCS
    for data analysis
  • SISSA
    recordings and psychophysics on animals
  • SensArs
    protocols for implants for residual nerve stimulation

Supervisors

  • J. Wessberg
  • S. Panzeri
  • M. Diamond
  • F. Petrini

Victoria Ashley Lang

A long-standing interest in neurophysiology and an academic foundation in mathematics paved the way for my enthusiasm to engage in this interface. This project, which combines experimental and computational methods to determine how various stimuli are encoded in the spiking activity of neural afferents, provides an opportunity to blend my mathematical background with human investigation.

Neutouch for me

Neutouch collects together different ingredients for a potential great recipe: lot of students with different expertise, distributed across Europe and willing to collaborate in a shared project.

Info

  • Research Topics
    Neurophysiology
  • Institution
    University of Gothenburg
  • Background

    B.Sc. Applied Mathematics (University of California San Diego, 2016)
    M.Sc. Advanced Mathematics and Mathematical Engineering (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, 2017)

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 ).
© Neutouch Project