Associate Professor

Office Information:

060 MacNider Hall UNC Chapel Hill (919) 966-8985


BS in Biology, Davidson College, 1980 MS in Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics, UNC Chapel Hill, 1983 PhD in Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics, UNC Chapel Hill, 1989

Research and Publications:

Somatosensory Cortical Dynamics and Neurocomputation in Living Neural Networks
Dr. Tommerdahl's interests are in somatosensory cortical dynamics and neurocomputation in living neural networks. Methods developed and employed towards this end include methods for the acquisition and analysis of neurophysiological (both in the in vivo and in vitro preparations), human psychophysical, and metabolic mapping (2DG) data as well as methods of controlling a number of (computer controlled) devices for delivery of vibrotactile, constant velocity skin brushing, multi-channel electrocutaneous, and thermal stimuli to the skin of experimental subjects. The primary goal of the basic research is to use these different methodologies to study the response of the somatosensory cortex to tactile stimulation and more specifically, it is to analyze the contributions of the effects of prior stimulation (or the cortical history) on the responsivity of the cortex. Most recently, a major effort in translational research has been initiated. The goal of that work is to measure the systemic cortical alterations that occur with different neurological disorders. Studies in several areas such as autism, concussion/TBI, pain (e.g., fibromyalgia, VVS, TMJD, migraine), and aging are ongoing, and the success of that work has spun out a company ([url=http://www.corticalmetrics.com]Cortical Metrics[/url]) recently highlighted in UNC's Emerging Company Showcase.
1. Holden JK, Nguyen RH, Francisco EM, Zhang Z, Dennis RG and Tommerdahl M (2011) A novel device for the study of somatosensory information processing. J Neurosci Methods. 2011 Dec 4;204(2):215-220. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:22155443 2. Nelson AJ, Premji A, Rai N, Hoque T, Tommerdahl M and Chen R. (2011) Dopamine alters tactile perception in Parkinson