Dr Hannes Saal

Department of Psychology

Senior Lecturer


Full contact details

Dr Hannes Saal
Department of Psychology
Pam Liversidge Building
Mappin Street
S1 3JD
  • BSc Cognitive Science (Osnabrueck, Germany)
  • MSc Neuroinformatics (Edinburgh)
  • PhD Neuroinformatics (Edinburgh)
Research interests

I work on mathematical models of sensory coding and perception; my main research area is the sense of touch, where I use human psychophysics, computational modeling, and applied machine learning in order to elucidate the fundamental computations allowing us to make sense of our environment through touch.

I am a member of Sheffield Robotics  and INSIGNEO Institute for in silico Medicine. I direct the Active Touch Laboratory.


TouchSim is a Matlab package that simulates spiking responses from thousands of tactile afferents terminating on the palmar surface of the hand to arbitrary indentation of the skin (see Saal, Delhaye et al., PNAS, 2017 for details).


Show: Featured publications All publications

Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers

  • Edmondson L, Jimenez-Rodriguez A & Saal H (2019) Nonlinear scaling of resource allocation in sensory bottlenecks. Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 19) (pp 7543-7552). Vancouver, Canada, 8 December 2019 - 14 December 2019. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

All publications

Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers


  • Edmondson L, Saal H & Jimenez-Rodriguez A NeurIPS 2019 poster: Nonlinear scaling of resource allocation in sensory bottlenecks. RIS download Bibtex download


Research group

Lab members

  • Rodrigo Siqueira De Souza (Research Associate)
  • Laura Edmondson (PhD student)
  • Giulia Corniani (PhD student)
  • Luke Cleland (CCN MSc student)
  • Nicholas Garside (CCN MSc student)
  • Jonathan Jones (CCN MSc student)
  • Zimeng Wan (CCN MSc student)
Teaching activities

I am the course director for the MSc Cognitive Neuroscience and Human Neuroimaging program.

I also teach on the following modules:

  • PSY6309: Mathematical Modelling and Research skills (module organizer)
  • PSY6308: Computational Neuroscience 2 - Theoretical Models
  • PSY1002: Cognitive Psychology I
  • PSY2002: Cognitive Psychology II