New discoveries in neuroscience research by UChicago's Associate Professor Sliman Bensmaia and alum Justin Lieber


The sensation of touch is an important part of almost everyone's every daily lives. University of Chicago's Associate Professor Sliman Bensmaia and postdoctoral scholar Justin Lieber (PhD, 2018, Computational Neuroscience, University of Chicago) bring this to our attention with their leading research where they recently discovered the neural activity associated with the sensation of touch. 

Matt Woods from UChicago News details more: 

Our hands and fingertips are amazingly sensitive to texture. We can easily distinguish coarse sandpaper from smooth glass, but we also pick up more subtle differences across a wide range of textures, like the slick sheen of silk or the soft give of cotton. 

Information about texture is transmitted from sensors in the skin and through the nerves to the somatosensory cortex, the part of the brain responsible for interpreting the sense of touch. New research by neuroscientists at the University of Chicago shows that as neurons in this part of the brain process this information, they each respond differently to various features of a surface, creating a high-dimensional representation of texture in the brain. 

To find the rest of the article and an informative video with Bensmaia and Lieber explaining their research, visit UChicago News.

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