IRCS / GRASP Seminar: Greg Gerling, University Of Virginia, "Computational Models Of Tactile Mechanotransduction & The Design Of Medical Simulators"

Presenter: Greg Gerling (Homepage)

Event Dates:
  Friday October 4, 2013 from 12:00pm to 1:30pm

* Alternate Location: IRCS Conference Room (3401 Walnut Street, 400A)*

In this talk, I will describe how our lab’s collaborative work in understanding the neurophysiological basis of touch (skin, receptors and neural coding; psychophysical limits) informs the applied design of neural sensors and human-machine interfaces, including neural prosthetics and training simulators in medical environments. Our sense of touch, while not yet as well understood as vision and audition, is essential for behaviors that range from avoiding bodily harm to vital social interactions. Discoveries in this field may help restore sensory function for disabled populations and enhance human performance and information processing capability. In particular in this talk, I will discuss work in using computational models (finite element, neuraltransduction) and artificial sensor correlates to capture the neural behavior of the skin mechanics – receptor end organ interaction for the slowly adapting type I tactile afferent. This work spans science and engineering where modeling of intact sensory systems is used to define transfer functions for application to upper limb neural prosthetics and to define the appropriate range of sensory stimuli for medical simulators.


Presenter's Biography:

Gregory J. Gerling is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Systems and Information Engineering at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He received his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at The University of Iowa in the Summer of 2005. Before returning to graduate school, he had industry experience in software engineering at Motorola, NASA Ames Research Center, and Rockwell Collins. His research interests are in general related to the fields of haptics, computational neuroscience, human factors and ergonomics, biomechanics, and human–machine interaction. The application of his research seeks to advance neural prosthetics, aid people whose sense of touch is deteriorating, and improve human–robot interfaces, particularly in medicine.