5812 South Ellis Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
Speaker: Justin Lieber
Title: Speed-tolerant coding of texture in the somatosensory cortex of primates
Abstract: A major objective of sensory processing is to achieve neural representations of objects that are stable across changes in context and perspective. To investigate how context-tolerant representations are achieved by the somatosensory system, we scanned a wide range of everyday textures across the fingertips of Rhesus macaques at multiple speeds and recorded the responses evoked in tactile nerve fibers and somatosensory cortical neurons. Compared to the periphery, we found that the cortical population exhibited 1) an increased ability to simultaneously encode independent representations of speed and texture, 2) an increased ability to predict texture perception in human subjects. Using simple Gabor-like models, we show that well-established cortical computations can explain how the somatosensory system achieves this speed-tolerant representation of texture.
June 18th: Maurizio De Pitta