Brain, Body and Technology Lab
The BBT Lab in the Donders Centre for Cognition at Radboud University focuses on understanding the neural computations used by the human brain to construct and update internal models of the body. We employ a variety of techniques, including behavioral and neuroimaging methods, as well as computational modelling and machine learning.
Our primary goals are to understand:
How the brain transforms perhipheral somatosensory input into three-dimensional models of the body.
How these models adapt when using body-extending technology, such as tools and prosthetic limbs.
The extent to which the brain re-uses its body-based computations to use technology as extended limbs.
Body represenation in 3D
Sensorimotor control relies on the ability of our brain to accurately model the dimensions of the body. These models are constrcuted by integrating sensory input with prior geometric knowledge of the body. We are interested in the neurocomputational underpinnings of this...
Body-tool neural fusion
Humans often use tools to expand the ways that they can act on and shape their environment. Doing so requires the brain to adapts its models of body to account for changes in limb geometry and dynamics. Our lab is interested in to what extent technological extensions become fused with...
Humans can sense their surroundings through a tool; a blind person with their cane is a classic example. We have found that humans can localize touch on a tool as accurately as they can a body part. As they are not obviously innervated, this means that the brain has the ability to extract...
Miller, LE., Fabio, C., (...), van Beers, RJ., Farnè, A., & Medendorp, WP (2022). A neural surveyor to map touch on the body. PNAS. 119(1)
Miller, LE., Fabio, C., (…),Medendorp, WP., & Farnè, A. (2021). A somatosensory computation that unifies limbs and tools. bioRxiv
Fabio, C., Salemme, R., Koun, E., Farnè, A., & Miller, LE (2022) Alpha oscillations are involved in localizing touch on handheld tools. J Cog Neuro 34(4), 675-686
Fabio, C., Salemme, R., Farnè, A., & Miller, LE. (2022) Alpha oscillations reflect similar mapping mechanisms for localizing touch on hands and tools. bioRxiv
Miller, LE., Fabio, C., Ravenda, V., (...) Hayward, V., Farnè, A. (2019). Somatosensory cortex efficiently processes touch located beyond the body. Current Biology. 29(24): 4276-4283.e5
Miller, LE., Longo, MR., Saygin, AP. (2019). Tool use modulates somatosensory cortical processing in humans. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 31(12): 1782-1795
Miller, LE., Montroni, L., Koun, E., Salemme, R., Hayward, V., Farnè, A. (2018). Sensing with tools extends somatosensory processing beyond the body. Nature. 561(7722): 239-243