Leslee Lazar

Assistant Teaching Professor

Research Areas: Understanding multimodal touch perception in humans.

E-mail: leslee.lazar@iitgn.ac.in

 

In our everyday life, we rely on the brain’s somatosensory system to perceive different tactile events on the surface of our skin like shapes, textures, hardness, softness, curvatures, vibrations, temperature etc. I am interested in understanding the organization of the human tactile system and how it underlies our rich haptic experience. Specifically, I am interested in how higher-level processes like language, emotion, body image interact with the low-level representations of external tactile stimuli. Also, no sensory system operates in isolation; our brain is constantly using signals from various sensory modalities to make sense of the world around us. I am keen to understand how the tactile system interacts with the visual, auditory and proprioceptive senses. I also have an interest in understanding the neural correlates and cognitive mechanisms of aesthetic perception and creativity.

Education:

B.Sc Loyola College
M.Sc University of Madras
Ph.D Neuroscience-National Brain Research Centre, Manesar, India
Post Doctoral Fellowship - Harvard Medical School (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre), Boston, USA

Professional and Teaching Experience:

  • Assistant Teaching Professor - Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar (Dec 2019 to Present)
  • Visiting Faculty - Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar (Dec 2016 – Dec 2019)
  • Post-Doctoral Research Fellow - Harvard Medical School (BIDMC) (Jan 2014 - July 2015)
  • Research Associate - National Brain Research Centre, India (Aug 2013 – Jan 2014)

Research Work:

JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS

  • Lazar l, Chand P, Rajan R, Hisham Mohammed, Jain N. Somatosensory Cortex of Macaque Monkeys is Designed for Opposable Thumb. BioRxiv2020.08.31.261115;doi:https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.08.31.261115
  • Lazar. L. The Cognitive Neuroscience of Design Creativity. Journal of Experimental Neuroscience, Volume: 12 October 31, 2018.
  • Kambi N, Tandon S, Mohammed H, Lazar L, Jain N. Reorganization of the primary motor cortex of the adult macaque monkeys after sensory loss resulting from partial spinal cord injuries. J Neurosci. 2011 Mar 9; 31 (10):3696-3707
  • Tandon S, Kambi N, Lazar L, Mohammed H, Jain N. Large-scale expansion of the face representation in somatosensory areas of the lateral sulcus after spinal cord injuries in monkeys. J Neurosci. 2009 Sep 23; 29(38):12009-19

POSTERS / ABSTRACTS

  • Arun, I. & Lazar, L. (July, 2020). Verbal labels improve discrimination of natural textures using active touch. FENS Virtual Forum 2020, Glasgow, UK. 
  • Arun, I. & Lazar, L. (June, 2020). Top-down effect of language on perception: verbal tags and tactile perceptual discrimination. Monsoon Brain Meeting, India
  • Lazar L, Chand P, Rajan R, Jain N. Electrophysiological and anatomical substrate of digit representation in the primary somatosensory area (area 3b). Society for Neuroscience, 2013
  • Rajan R, Lazar L, Govindan R, Jain N. Long-term stability of recordings from chronic intracortical microwire electrode arrays in macaque monkeys. Society for Neuroscience, 2013
  • Lazar L, Rajan R, Jain N. Information processing in the hand representation of area 3b of macaque monkeys. Primate Neurobiology Conference, 2012. University of Tubingen, Germany.
  • Lazar L, Rajan R, Jain N. Focal stimulation on the skin of hand activated neurons over large regions of the hand representation in area 3b of macaque monkeys. Society for Neuroscience, 2009

INVITED TALKS

  • “Touch, tickle and poke: The neuroscience of tactile sensory systems” - Brain Awareness Week, 2020
  • “Neurological Imaginaries” – York University, Toronto, Canada, 2020
  •  “Art Making and the Brain” – Expanded Field: Redefining Arts Education Symposium in Hong Kong Art School, 2020
  •  “Eye to Art” – Whistling Woods International Film School, Mumbai
  • “Designing Visual Science Communication” – Anna University organized by SwissNex
  •  “Visualizing Science” – National Institute of Immunology (NII) organized by Nature India (2017)
  • “Plasticity, Creativity and Therapy” – Get Wired: Arts and Mental Health, Benilde School of Arts and Design, Philippines.
  • “Tactile Sense – How We Feel the World” – National Institute of Design (NID, Paldi)

POPULAR WRITING

PERSONAL WEBSITE (my art)

http://lesleelazar.com/