Group Members

Hannes P Saal

Senior Lecturer
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I studied Cognitive Science at the University of Osnabrück, Germany. After an internship at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), I obtained an MSc and PhD in Neuroinformatics at the University of Edinburgh. I was then a postdoctoral scholar in Sliman Bensmaia’s lab at the University of Chicago, before joining the University of Sheffield to set up my own lab. For most of my career I have worked on the sense of touch, using methods from computational neuroscience, robotics, and machine learning.

Rodrigo Siqueira Kazu

Research Associate
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I’m a research associate with experience in comparative neuroanatomy, cell culturing, multichannel electrophysiology and immunocytochemistry. Utilising my programming and data analysis/data modelling skills I’m working on the modelling of the responses of afferent fibres of the foot sole. In addition, I’m also a guest lecturer for the computational neuroscience module.

Laura R Edmondson

PhD student, Teaching fellow
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I am a PhD student supervised by Hannes Saal & Stuart Wilson. My research focuses on modelling somatosensory cortex using dimensionality reduction techniques and self-organising models. I am interested in the mechanisms which determine the topography and magnification of the hand seen in the primary somatosensory cortex of both humans and non-human primates.

Giulia Corniani

PhD student, Marie Curie fellow
Twitter Orcid

I am a PhD student supervised by Hannes Saal. I am part of the NeuTouch project, included in the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. My research focuses on the spiking models of realistic human tactile interactions. I am interested in the development of a computational method that translates sensor input into spiking output to deliver realistic and real-time tactile feedback for neuroprosthetics and robotics.

Luke Cleland

MRC DiMeN PhD Student
Twitter Orcid

I am a PhD student, part of the MRC DiMeN DTP. My research involves the investigation of tactile processing in the foot along with investigating different gait variables. I have previously worked on computational modelling of homeostatic plasticity in the somatosensory cortex in the context of touch.

Zijun Li

PhD Student
Twitter Orcid

I am a PhD student supervised by Hannes Saal. I am principally interested in modelling the development of the human somatotopy. My research also involves neuroimaging and psychophysical approaches.

Jinzhao Wang

CCN MSc Student

I am a MSc student on the Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience program. My research interests focus on constructing computational models inspired by neural architectures or brain activities. My current project uses computer vision to reconstruct skin movements during object interaction.

Associate members

Stuart Wilson

University Website Github GScholar Orcid

My research explores the interaction between evolution and development in the context of mammalian somatosensory systems. In particular, I am interested in how self-organisation can interact with natural selection in the context of i) self-organisation of topological maps in rodent barrel cortex, ii) self-organising thermoregulatory huddling behaviours in rodent litters.

Tony Prescott

University Website Twitter GScholar Orcid

I investigate active touch sensing in animals, humans and robots, focusing on (i) the evolution of the mammalian somatosensory system, (ii) multisensory perception and memory, (iii) haptic interaction and emotional touch in biomimetic robots, and (iv) haptic interfaces for sensory augmentation and telepresence.


Nicholas Garside, CCN MSc, 2019-20
Jonathan Jones, CCN MSc, 2019-20
Zimeng Wan, CCN MSc, 2019-20
Nathan Darnley, CCN MSc, 2018-19
Muneerah Patel, CCN MSc, 2018-19
Luke Moffat, CCN MSc, 2018-19
Ursula de Souza Braganca, CCN MSc, 2017-18
Ross Bradbury, CCN MSc, 2017-18