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Interdisciplinary Network of Researchers in Touch

Program detail

Friday 26th July, 2019

09:45-10:00: Symposium in Lecture Theatre, A01Topics in somatosensory plasticity and touch perception

Organised by Dr Harriet Dempsey-Jones

Why is the somatotopic body map organised the way it is? How does it change in the face of altered experience, and what knock-on effects might such changes have for touch perception?

In this symposium, we will explore the organisational principles that underlie somatotopic maps and cortical magnification, using computational models (Laura Edmondson, University of Sheffield).

We will look at how these maps can be altered by dramatic bodily experience, e.g., long-term deprivation of sensory and motor function that occurs following amputation of a limb (Dr. Dolly-Anne Muret, University College London (UCL)).

Finally, we will look how topography constrains changes in touch perception following interventions to improve acuity, by short-term sensory deprivation using anaesthetics (Dr. Harriet Dempsey-Jones, UCL), or by repetitive sensory stimulation (RSS) protocols (Silvia Macchione, INSERM).

In sum, we explore the reciprocal relationship whereby touch shapes topography, but topography also influences our perceptual experience.

Presentations in this session

09:45: Primary sensorimotor processing efficiently maps touch beyond the body (Miller LE, Bolognini N, Hayward V, Farnè A)

10:00: Computational modelling of hand representation in human somatosensory cortex (Edmondson LR, Saal HP)

10:15: Remapping vs reorganisation: what is the information content in the hand cortex of one-handers? (Muret D, Amoruso E, Makin TR)

10:30: Dissociable effects of temporary input loss on tactile perception and learning (Harriet Dempsey-Jones, Andreas Themistocleus, Davide Carone, Tammy Ng, Vanessa Harrar, & Tamar Makin)

10:45: Topology of remote tactile improvement induced by passive somatosensory stimulation (Macchione S, Muret D, Dinse HR, Koun E, Reilly KT, Farnè A)

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