The invited speaker for our 2019 Annual Member Meeting and Social during the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience is Mitra Hartmann, Ph.D. at Northwestern University.
Dr. Hartmann received a Bachelor of Science in Applied and Engineering Physics from Cornell University, and a PhD in Integrative Neuroscience from the California Institute of Technology. She was a postdoctoral scholar at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California in the Bio-Inspired Technology and Systems group, and joined the faculty at Northwestern University in 2003.
Dr. Hartmann is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award, a fellow of the AIMBE, an alumna of the Defense Science Study Group, and has received numerous teaching awards. She is currently a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence at Northwestern with a 50-50 joint appointment between the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.
As an affiliated investigator in the Neuroscience and Robotics Lab (NxR) at Northwestern, her work focuses on exploring the sense of touch. Current efforts in the lab focus developing a computational model for how sensory information from the whiskers of rats is coded and processed in the nervous system and how this information is used to explore the rat’s environment and guide its actions.
You can download a three-dimensional model of the rat vibrissal array, along with tools to simulate whisker bending and deformation at the Digital Rat. These models can be used to simulate the whisker-object contact patterns that may occur as a rat explores different objects.
Yu, Y.S, Bush, N.E. & Hartmann, M.J.Z. (2019). Whisker Vibrations and the Activity of Trigeminal Primary Afferents in Response to Airflow. The Journal of Neuroscience, 39 (30), 5881–5896 doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2971-18.2019,
Solomon, J.H. & Hartmann, M.J. (2006). Robotic Whiskers Used to Sense Features. Nature, 443, 525. https://www.nature.com/articles/443525a