Chet Mortiz and John Tuthill, October 2017 UWIN seminar speakersUWIN seminar resumes for the 2017-18 academic year!  The October 2017 UWIN seminar features an exciting pair of short talks by UWIN faculty members Chet Moritz and John Tuthill:

  • “Neural devices to promote plasticity and recovery following spinal cord injury”
    Chet Moritz, Associate Professor, Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine, Physiology & Biophysics, University of Washington
  • “Neural coding of leg proprioception”
    John Tuthill, Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, University of Washington

The seminar is on Wednesday, October 11th, at 3:30pm in Husky Union Building (HUB) 337.  Refreshments will be served prior to the talks.


“Neural devices to promote plasticity and recovery following spinal cord injury” (Chet Moritz):

Neural devices have tremendous potential to improve quality of life after spinal cord injury. Both intraspinal and transcutaneous stimulation can activate neural circuits distal to an injury, leading to either direct muscle contraction or facilitating therapy enabling volitional movements. A recent case study of cervical transcutaneous stimulation resulted in both immediate and sustained improvements in hand and arm function. A participant with chronic C3 tetraplegia (ASIA D) improved nearly all measures of hand motor function tested after only 4 weeks of skin surface stimulation paired with physical therapy.  Physical therapy alone did not lead to further improvements, but benefits were sustained over a three month follow-up period without further treatment.

“Neural coding of leg proprioception”
(John Tuthill):

Proprioception, the sense of self-movement and body position, is critical for the effective control of motor behavior. We have developed new methods to record from genetically-identified neurons in proprioceptive circuits of the fruit fly, Drosophila, using 2-photon calcium imaging and patch-clamp electrophysiology. I will discuss our initial attempts to understand proprioceptive neural coding in cells and circuits that sense leg movement and position. I will also discuss how these proprioceptive feedback signals are used by motor circuits that control leg muscle activity and behavior.