What is it about?

We shed light on the contribution of a little structure in the brainstem to the sense of touch. Previously thought to be a passive relay station for sensory information, the cuneate nucleus actually plays an active role in shaping touch signals.

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Why is it important?

Nervous systems confer to organisms a remarkable ability to extract useful information from the environment via the different senses. The sense of touch is no exception, critical to our ability to interact with objects and to our sense of embodiment. Neuroscientists are trying to understand how nervous systems outperform any artificial device yet devised at sensory processing and pattern recognition.


The cuneate nucleus is very difficult to access, which explains why understanding its properties has been so elusive.

Sliman Bensmaia
University of Chicago

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Sensory computations in the cuneate nucleus of macaques, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, December 2021, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2115772118.
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