Dr Hannes Saal
Department of Psychology
University of Sheffield
1 Vicar Lane, Sheffield S1 2LT, UK
Pam Liversidge Building F05
Mappin St, Sheffield S1 3JD
Tel: +44 (0)114 222 6504
Other profiles: ORCID, Google Scholar
BSc Cognitive Science (Osnabrueck, Germany), MSc Neuroinformatics (Edinburgh), PhD Neuroinformatics (Edinburgh)
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.
- Laura Edmondson (PhD student)
- Renjie Ning (MSc student, Dept. Automatic Control and Systems Engineering)
- Giulia Tomassoni (SURE scheme BSc student)
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). The package is freely available for download.
I am director of the MSc(Res) Cognitive Neuroscience and Human Neuroimaging course. I also teach on the following modules:
- PSY6309: Mathematical Modelling and Research skills (module organizer)
- PSY6308: Computational Neuroscience 2 - Theoretical Models
- PSY101: Discovering Psychology
- PSY103: Psychology at Sheffield
- PSY159: Critical Skills for Psychologists
- PSY331: Extended essay in Psychology
- PSY346: Research project in Psychology
A list of key publications can be found below. For a full list of publications please click here
- Boundy-Singer ZM, Saal HP & Bensmaia SJ (2017) Speed invariance of tactile texture perception. Journal of Neurophysiology, jn.00161.2017-jn.00161.2017. View this article in WRRO
- Saal HP, Delhaye BP, Rayhaun BC & Bensmaia SJ (2017) Simulating tactile signals from the whole hand with millisecond precision. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA. View this article in WRRO
- Graczyk EL, Schiefer MA, Saal HP, Delhaye BP, Bensmaia SJ & Tyler DJ (2016) The neural basis of perceived intensity in natural and artificial touch. Science Translational Medicine, 8(362). View this article in WRRO
- Saal HP, Wang X & Bensmaia SJ (2016) Importance of spike timing in touch: an analogy with hearing?. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 40, 142-149. View this article in WRRO
- Saal HP, Harvey MA & Bensmaia SJ (2015) Rate and timing of cortical responses driven by separate sensory channels. eLife, 4. View this article in WRRO
- Saal HP & Bensmaia SJ (2015) Biomimetic approaches to bionic touch through a peripheral nerve interface. Neuropsychologia, 79, 344-353.
- Saal HP & Bensmaia SJ (2014) Touch is a team effort: interplay of submodalities in cutaneous sensibility. Trends in Neurosciences, 37(12), 689-697.
- Weber AI, Saal HP, Lieber JD, Cheng J-W, Manfredi LR, Dammann JF & Bensmaia SJ (2013) Spatial and temporal codes mediate the tactile perception of natural textures. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(42), 17107-17112.
- Harvey MA, Saal HP, Dammann JF & Bensmaia SJ (2013) Multiplexing Stimulus Information through Rate and Temporal Codes in Primate Somatosensory Cortex. PLoS Biology, 11(5), e1001558-e1001558.