Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair (Tier II)
Sensorimotor Control

Acting Associate Chair Grad Program (Jan. 1, 2017 to June 31, 2017)

Aimee Nelson


Location: Ivor Wynne Centre, Room 202
Phone: 905 525 9140 ext. X28053
E-mail: nelsonaj@mcmaster.ca Website: http://mackin.mcmaster.ca/neuro/



The purpose of my research is to develop fundamental understanding of the cortical control of the human hand and upper limb. My research program is focused on the somatosensory contributions to motor control; human hand control is profoundly dependent on the integrity of somatosensory input that arises from touch and muscle receptors. Multiple cortical areas receive and process somatosensory input yet little is known about the role of these areas in the control of human hand movement. My research program is primarily focused on investigating the role of somatosensory loci in the control of hand movement in healthy and clinical populations. Students in my lab use a combination of neurophysiology techniques including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging.



*indicate undergraduate or graduate students in my lab

Lee KG*, Jacobs MF*, Asmussen MJ*, Zapallow CM*, Tommerdahl M, Nelson AJ. Continuous theta-burst stimulation modulates tactile synchronization. BMC Neurosci. 2013 Aug 23;14(1):89. PubMed Identifier: 23968301

Asmussen MJ*, Jacobs MF*, Lee KGH*, Zapallow CM*, Nelson AJ (2013). Short-latency afferent inhibition modulation during finger movement. PLoS ONE 8(4): e60496. PubMed Identifier: 23593228

Zapallow CM*, Jacobs MF*, Lee KGH*, Asmussen MJ*, Tsang P*, Nelson AJ (2013). Continuous theta-burst stimulation over primary somatosensory cortex modulates interhemispheric inhibition. NeuroReport, 24(7): 394-8. PubMed Identifier: 23568220

Zapallow CM*, Asmussen MJ*, Bolton DA, Lee KG*, Jacobs MF*, Nelson AJ (2012). Theta burst repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation attenuates somatosensory evoked potentials from the lower limb. BMC Neuroscience 13:133. PubMed Identifier: 23113936

Jacobs MF*, Zapallow CM*, Tsang P*, Lee KGH*, Asmussen MJ*, Nelson AJ (2012). Current direction specificity of continuous theta-burst stimulation in modulating human motor cortex excitability when applied to somatosensory cortex. NeuroReport 23(16):927-31. PubMed Identifier: 22955142

*Jacobs M, *Premji A, Nelson AJ. Plasticity-inducing TMS protocols to investigate somatosensory control of hand function. Neural Plasticity (2012):350574.

Nelson AJ, *Premji A, *Rai N, Hoque T, Tommerdahl M, Chen R. Dopamine alters tactile perception in Parkinson's disease. Can J Neurol Sci (2012), 39(1):52-7.

*Rai N, *Premji A, Tommerdahl M, Nelson AJ. Continuous theta-burst rTMS over primary somatosensory cortex modulates tactile perception on the hand. Clinical Neurophysiology (2012) 123(6):1226-33.

*Premji A, *Zapallow C, *Tsang P, *Tang R, *Jacobs M, Nelson AJ. Influence of area 5 on interhemispheric inhibition. Neuroreport (2011) Dec 21;22(18):974-8.

*Premji A, *Rai N, Nelson A. Area 5 influences excitability within the primary motor cortex in humans. PLoS One (2011);6(5):e20023.

Ni Z, Charab S, Gunraj C, Nelson AJ, Udupa K, Yeh IJ, Chen R. Transcranial magnetic stimulation in different current directions activates separate cortical circuits. Journal of Neurophysiology, (2011) 105(2):749-56.

*Premji A, *Ziluk A, Nelson AJ. Bilateral somatosensory evoked potentials following intermittent theta-burst repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. BMC Neuroscience, (2010) 11:91.

*Ziluk A, *Premji A, Nelson AJ. Functional connectivity from area 5 to primary motor cortex via paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation. Neuroscience Letters (2010) 484(1):81-85.

Nelson AJ, Hoque T, Gunraj CA, Ni Z, Chen R. Impaired Interhemispheric Inhibition in Writer’s Cramp. Neurology (2010) 75(5):441-447.

Nelson AJ, Blake D, Chen R. Digit-specific aberrations in the somatosensory cortex in Writer’s Cramp. Annals of Neurology, (2009) 66(2):146-54.

Nelson AJ, Hoque T, Gunraj C, Ni Z, Chen R. Bi-directional interhemispheric inhibition during unimanual sustained contractions. BMC Neuroscience (2009) 10:31.

Ni Z, Gunraj C, Nelson AJ, Yeh I, Castillo G, Hoque T, Chen R. Two phases of interhemispheric inhibition between motor related cortical areas and the primary motor cortex in human. Cerebral Cortex, (2009) 19(7):1654-65.

Nelson AJ, Chen R. Digit somatotopy within cortical areas of the postcentral gyrus in humans. Cerebral Cortex (2008) 18:2341-51.

Chen Y, Wang FN, Nelson AJ, Xu H, Kim Y, Rosen BR, Kwong KK . Electrical stimulation modulates the amphetamine-induced hemodynamic changes: an fMRI study to compare the effect of stimulating locations and frequencies on rats. Neuroscience Letters (2008) 444:117-21.



Education information

Degree University Year
Postdoctual Fellow Toronto Western Research Institute 2005-07
Postdoctual Associate  Massachusetts Institute of Technology  2003-05
PhD  University of Toronto  2003
BSc  McMaster University  1997

Grad Students

Grad Students

Grad Studentsinformation

Degree Name    
 MSc Hunter Fassett    
  Jenin El Sayes    
  Mitchell Savoie  
  Claudia Turco  
PhD Tea Lulic  



Teaching information

Course Code
Course Name
KINESIOL 4CN3 Clinical Neurophysiology  


Contact Kinesiology

The Department of Kinesiology is located in the Ivor Wynne Centre (IWC) and IWC East Building, on the northeast side of the university's central campus.
Department of Kinesiology
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Ivor Wynne Centre
Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1