We meet regularly to host external speakers, discuss progress of current lab projects and rehearse presentations by lab members in London and elsewhere. Past and upcoming external talks include:
April 15, 2019:
Representations of touch in the somatosensory cortices
Luigi Tamè (Kent)
Detecting and discriminating sensory stimuli are fundamental functions of the nervous system. Electrophysiological and lesion studies suggest that macaque primary somatosensory cortex (SI) is critically involved in discriminating between stimuli, but is not required simply for detecting stimuli. By contrast, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies in humans have shown near-complete disruption of somatosensory detection when a single pulse of TMS is delivered over SI. In my presentation, in accordance with macaque studies, I will provide empirical evidence suggesting that human SI is required for discriminating between tactile stimuli and for maintaining stimulus representations over time, or under high task demand, but may not be required for simple tactile detection. Moreover, I will provide empirical evidence showing that human SI, rather than higher level brain areas, is critically involved in the estimation of tactile distance perception as well as bilateral integration of touch.