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List of Past Events

The Neuroscience and Phenomenology of Defferentation; living without proprioception and touch (talk recording available)

Dr. Jonathan Cole

Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 01:00pm - 02:00pm

Honorary Senior Lecturer in Clinical Neurosciences, University of Southampton Professor - University of Bournemouth Cons

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At the age of 19, over forty years ago, Ian Waterman developed the acute sensory neuronopathy syndrome, losing large myelinated sensory nerve function below C3 level and leaving him without sensations of touch and movement/position sense below the neck. His motor nerves and smaller sensory nerves underpinning temperature and pain perceptions were unaffected.

The lecture will consider his functional rehabilitation, he spent nearly two years in hospital, learning to stand and walk and live independently, and the neuroscience of movement without touch. Research discussed will include that on his motor programmes, mental imagery, sense of effort, and use of gesture, together with his contribution to work on CT afferents and affective touch.

To view a recording of this talk click here (You will need a Rutgers NetID and password)


Liljencrantz et al. Altered C-tactile processing in human dynamic tactile allodynia. In Press; Pain.

Luu et al, J. Physiol, 2011, 589, 3135-47. The fusimotor and reafferent origin of the sense of force and weight.

Miall R and Cole J. E Exp Brain Res. 2007 Jan; 176(3): 432-9. Evidence for stronger visuo-motor than visuo-proprioceptive conflict during mirror drawing performed by a deafferented subject and control subjects.

Quaeghebeur et al,  Aproprioception, gesture, and cognitive being, In Mouton Handbook on Body – Language – Communication, Edited by Cornelia Müller, Ellen Fricke, Alan Cienki, and David McNeill, in press.

ter Horst AC, Cole J, van Lier R, Steenbergen B.  The effect of chronic deafferentation on mental imagery: a case study.. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42742


Jonathan Cole short biog. 13-0-26

Jonathan Cole is a consultant in Clinical Neurophysiology at Poole Hospital and visiting professor at the University of Bournemouth. He trained in Oxford and London. His empirical research has been in spinal cord injury and pain, tremor, autonomic mechanisms and particularly in sensory loss and consequences. He and subject Ian Waterman have worked together for over 25 years, in both neuroscience work and on Ian’s biography, Pride and Daily Marathon

In addition to empirical research he also has an interest in the subjective experience of neurological impairment and worked with Oliver Sacks in the US in the 1970’s. He has published several books in this area About Face and Still Lives (on spinal cord injury) and, with Henrietta Spalding, The Invisible Smile, (OUP), on living without facial expression. He was also an executive editor of The Paradoxical Brain, (Kapur, et al, CUP 2012).

He is a past President of the British Society for Clinical Neurophysiology, was Chair of the International Congress in Clinical Neurophysiology in 2006 in Edinburgh and is a member of the European Chapter of the IFCN.

Dr. Jonathan Cole