Many of us here at UCSF study, in different domains, interactions between the sensory and motor systems of the brain. This is true of my own work (I study speech motor control, especially how auditory feedback is used in speech production) and it is also true for many other fields of study here (the ocular motor system, visuomotor control of arm movements, birdsong, and studies of auditory and somatosensory cortex, just to name a few). Given this, it seems natural that we should have a forum where we could learn from each other.


Thus, this email is to announce the first meeting of the Sensorimotor Journal Club, which will meet every Monday from 12:30 to 2pm in the Keck Conference Room (HSE 810). Bring your lunch, and we’ll discuss journal articles, as well as our own work, relating to the broad theme of sensory-motor interactions.


At the first meeting, this Monday, August 7th, I will talk a bit about how I plan to run the journal club, and we will also have a presentation by Sri Nagarajan of the first paper:


Voss, M., Ingram, J. N., Haggard, P., & Wolpert, D. M. (2006). Sensorimotor attenuation by central motor command signals in the absence of movement. Nature Neuroscience, 9(1), 26-27. (link to pdf of this article)


            Voluntary actions typically produce suppression of afferent sensation from the moving body part. We used transcranial magnetic stimulation to delay the output of motor commands from the motor cortex during voluntary movement. We show attenuation of sensation during this delay, in the absence of movement. We conclude that sensory suppression mainly relies on central signals related to the preparation for movement and that these signals are upstream of primary motor cortex.