Hires Lab | University of Southern California

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Research

Tactile perception is an active, exploratory process that emerges through cycles of sensory input driven by purposeful motion. Consider a baseball pitcher, stroking the seams of the ball, reorienting and refining the grip to deliver a wicked curveball. In nearly every sensorimotor action, our body and mind has been trained to efficiently execute precision movements to extract relevant tactile cues for the task at hand. The ability to execute these movements, receive tactile sensation, and construct sensorimotor perception is impaired in millions of Americans following stroke or spinal injury. Our lab’s long term goal is to understand neural circuit mechanisms that underlie sensorimotor coding, integration, and learning, which could guide creation of more effective treatments for these and other neurological disorders.

Our lab focuses on two areas :

Cortical circuit function and technology development. Our approach is quantitative measurement and manipulation of neural activity and behavior using innovative technology to understand how cortical circuits function.