Paul D. Marasco, Ph.D.
In our research we investigate the sensory nervous system with a specific focus on systems level mechanisms of brain organization and neural plasticity. A major interest of the laboratory
is sensory integration with prosthetic devices. With our research we investigate a variety of ways to “close-the-loop” and to provide physiologically relevant touch and proprioceptive feedback for artificial limbs. We accomplish this by using different model systems and a variety
of translational approaches from electrophysiological cortical mapping to psychophysical and cognitive studies to provide insight into how sensory feedback can be returned from a prosthesis to an amputee through physiologically appropriate neural channels. Our work focuses on establishing a mechanistic understanding of how sensory channels organize and integrate to establish a cognitive sense of self, embodiment and awareness of limb movement. With these approaches we then work to interact and utilize these sensory/cognitive pathways to drive cognitive engagement with artificial limbs for amputees.