Neuroscience at The University of Chicago

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Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill




Lab Website

Sliman Bensmaia, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Research Interests
  • Computational & Theoretical
  • Systems / Behavior / Cognitive
The main objective of the lab is to discover how tactile and proprioceptive information is encoded in the activity of neurons in the nerve and in the brain. To this end, we record neuronal responses, measure the elicited percepts, and develop mathematical models to link the two. We are also developing approaches to convey somatosensory feedback through electrical stimulation of neuronal tissue for use in upper-limb neuroprostheses.

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Select Publications

Saal, H.P. & Bensmaia, S.J. (2014). Touch is a team effort: Interplay of submodalities in cutaneous sensibility, Trends in Neuroscience, 37: 689-697.
Bensmaia, S.J. & Miller, L.E. (2014). Restoring sensorimotor function through intracortical interfaces: progress and looming challenges, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 15: 313-325
Tabot, G.A., Dammann III, J.F., Berg, J.A., Tenore, F.V., Boback, J.L., Vogelstein, R.J., & Bensmaia, S.J. (2013). Restoring the sense of touch with a prosthetic hand through a brain interface, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 110: 18279-84
Weber, A.I., Saal, H.P., Lieber, J.D., Cheng, J.-W., Manfredi, L.R., Dammann III, J.F., & Bensmaia, S.J. (2013). Spatial and temporal codes mediate the tactile perception of natural textures, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 110: 17107-12
Harvey, M.A., Saal, H.P., Dammann, J.F., & Bensmaia, S.J. (2013). Multiplexing stimulus information through rate and temporal codes in primate somatosensory cortex, Public Library of Science Biology, 11, e1001558
Mackevicius, E.L., Best, M.D., Saal, H.P. & Bensmaia, S.J. (2012). Millisecond precision spike timing shapes tactile perception. Journal of Neuroscience, 32: 15309-17
Pei Y.C., Hsiao S.S., Craig J.C. & Bensmaia S.J. (2011). Neural mechanisms of tactile motion integration in somatosensory cortex. Neuron, 69: 536-547
Pei, Y.C., Hsiao, S.S., Craig, J.C. & Bensmaia, S.J (2010). Shape invariant coding of motion direction in somatosensory cortex, Public Library of Science Biology, 8, e1000305
Yau J.M., Olenczak J.B., Dammann, J.F. & Bensmaia, S.J. (2009). Temporal frequency channels linked across audition and touch, Current Biology, 19: 561-566
Pei, Y.C., Hsiao S.S., & Bensmaia, S.J. (2008). The tactile integration of local motion cues is analogous to its visual counterpart, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 105: 8130-8135