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  • Biomedical Engineering Department Guest Speaker

    Thu, Mar 08, 2018 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Biomedical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Naveed Ejaz, PhD, SENIOR POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER IN CLINICAL AND HEALTHY HUMAN MOTOR CONTROL; BRAIN-MIND INSTITUTE, WESTERN UNIVERSITY, LONDON ONTARIO, CANADA

    Talk Title: How does the brain control dexterous hand function (and how does function recover after injury)

    Abstract: It is hard to over-state the importance of our hands in daily life; they are the primary means with which we manipulate the environment around us. Evidence from invasive studies in non-human primates has demonstrated that hand function is controlled by interactions between motor circuits in cortical and subcortical brain areas. Since such invasive investigations in humans are not possible, the question of how cortical brain areas organize to facilitate dexterous control, and the extent to which (if at all) subcortical pathways contribute to hand function in man is unknown. In this seminar, I will draw upon multiple studies from my research program to answer these two questions. First, I will use functional magnetic resonance imaging to characterize the population response of neurons in the neocortex that are critical for dexterous hand control. I will provide evidence that the population response appears to be shaped by experiential use of the hand, and will further demonstrate the nature of plasticity in the associated circuits by using individuals with hand amputation as a model of neocortical deafferentation. Next, I will discuss evidence for a new model of hand recovery after stroke, one that relies on the ability of subcortical brain structures to provide compensatory control of the hand after damage to the neocortex. Throughout the seminar, I will briefly highlight how my research program provides tools that can be used to investigate hand function as a function of development, ageing, and disease, as well as provide hints on how to recover dexterous control in patients after neural injuries (e.g. stroke, cervical spondylotic myelopathy).

    Host: Francisco Valero-Cuevas, PhD

    Location: DRB 145/145A

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Mischalgrace Diasanta

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