The Neurophysiology of Tactile Perception: A Tribute to Steven Hsiao
Steven Hsiao was the Scientific Director of the Johns Hopkins University Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute until his untimely death on June 16, 2014. The focus of Steve’s career was to understand the neural basis of tactile perception. This Collection from Journal of Neurophysiology is related to somatosensory neurophysiology, including the encoding of tactile signals by sensory receptors, the processing of tactile signals by the central nervous system, and neural mechanisms for perceiving tactile signals. (Image: http://hub.jhu.edu/2014/06/19/steve-hsiao-obit)
Listen as Jeff Yau (Baylor College of Medicine) describes his experience working with Steve Hsiao at Johns Hopkins University, summarizes his contribution to our collection of articles on the neurophysiology of tactile perception, and discusses the value of this collection for those involved in somatosensory research.
Listen as Sliman Bensmaia (University of Chicago) recollects working with Steve Hsiao, summarizes his contribution to our collection of articles on the neurophysiology of tactile perception, and discusses the breadth of the somatosensory research represented in the collection.
Cover: Electrophysiological and morphological measurements were obtained simultaneously from a single corticospinal neuron. These data served as constraints on evolutionary optimization, generating a family of corticospinal models. A three-dimensional reconstruction serves as the backbone for a pseudo-color visualization of synaptic efficiency as a function of dendritic location, simulated in a single biophysical model selected from the family of optimal individuals. Excitatory synapses at yellow dendritic locations resulted in the largest depolarizations at the soma, while the same synaptic activation at purple locations generated only weak somatic depolarizations. This visualization is surrounded by scatter plots representing the evolutionary optimization: biophysical models optimized across different fitness functions demonstrate tradeoffs between full high-dimensional error (y-axis) and individual error scores (individual x-axes; clockwise order from top
left: subthreshold error, instantaneous firing rate error, spike-shape error, average firing rate error). Color based on 5 error percentiles in increasing instantaneous firing-rate error (purple, red, dark orange, light orange, yellow). From Neymotin SA, Suter BA, Dura-Bernal S, Shepherd GMG, Migliore M, Lytton WW. Optimizing computer models of corticospinal neurons to replicate in vitro dynamics. J Neurophysiol; doi:10.1152/jn.00570.2016.