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Link Between Math And Touch to Be Explored In UB Lecture

Release Date: March 10, 1998

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- What can mathematics tell us about the sense of touch?

Quite a lot, according to Jonathan Bell, Ph.D., professor and chair of the University at Buffalo Department of Mathematics who conducts research on using mathematics to model the sense of touch.

Bell will lecture on the subject at 7:30 p.m. on March 23 in Room 225 of the Natural Sciences complex on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

"In humans, touch is probably the first sense to develop and often the last to extinguish, yet we take having the sense of touch for granted," Bell said.

"Infants born without it die immediately, and infants who do not receive enough tactile stimulation often do not develop properly."

In his talk, Bell will discuss how the tactile system and mechanoreceptors work. Mechanoreceptors are biological entities that convert mechanical stimuli (like pressure) to electrical signals.

He will highlight the interdisciplinary nature of research about sensory systems and discuss why both theoretical modeling and fundamental experiments must be done to fully understand how mechanoreception works.

Free and open to the public, the lecture is sponsored by the Sciences Alumni Association of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

For more information, contact Cindy Nydahl at 645-2531.

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