My project: A spiking model of realistic human tactile interactions READ MORE
Research Topics: Biology & Computational Neuroscience
Institution: The University of Sheffield
I have always been fascinated by the complexity and mysteriousness of the human brain. I first got closer to neuroscience during my master thesis traineeship working with Brain-Computer Interfaces. After that experience, I knew Neuroscience was definitely my topic
The thing I like the most about this project is that we are a melting pot of backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. The best characteristic of NeuTouch is its multidisciplinarity: we face the same issue from different perspectives and merging our knowledge we might be able to reach innovative and outstanding solutions.
This project aims to improve current population spiking models of peripheral tactile responses such that they can be directly coupled to an appropriate touch sensor and deliver realistic tactile feedback in real-time. To this end, we will develop and validate a robust computational method that translates sensor input into spiking output, as well as modifying existing spiking models to deliver real-time output. Additionally, the touch sensors will be integrated into a setup that tracks human hand movements and contact forces, and we will collect a data set of human touch interactions during object grasping and manipulation. This data set will provide novel insights into how humans exploit their sense of touch and which tactile features underlie manipulation and grasping skills.
On the technical side, this project will deliver a method to convert touch sensor activations into realistic tactile population responses. These results will feed into neuroprosthetics and robotics, specifically through the secondment at UNIBI. On the scientific side, this project will enable a better understanding of how human use touch, and specifically which features are important for grasping and manipulation: these results will therefore guide future development of neuroprosthetic feedback algorithms and novel tactile sensors.