Integrative Neuroscience COBRE Speaker Series

Bimanual touch in the primate somatosensory cortical system


Jeffrey Yau, PhD

Department of Neuroscience

Baylor College of Medicine



Our remarkable manual dexterity is characterized in part by an ability to coordinate our use of two hands. While bimanual motor control has been well­studied, far less is known about bimanual touch and the neural computations that mediate information processing over the hands. In this talk, I will first present evidence that tactile cues experienced on one hand automatically and systematically bias the perception of cues experienced concurrently on the other hand. These bimanual interactions are well-explained by a cue integration model that incorporates canonical operations. I will then present functional neuroimaging results showing that human brain responses associated with bimanual cues are more consistent with cue integration rather than conjunctive coding. Finally, I will present neurophysiology data recorded from human and non-human primates which indicate the presence of bimanual signals in primary somatosensory cortex. These collective results reveal the complex manner by which the nervous system combines sensory inputs over the hands and highlight candidate brain regions and neural mechanisms that mediate bimanual touch. 


Wednesday, June 19 at 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism, 101
1664 N. Virginia St.