Aimee Nelson
Profile Photo
Professor; Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) Sensorimotor Neuroscience
Ivor Wynne Centre, Room E208
905 525 9140 ext. 28053
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.

Human Neurophysiology; Neural Plasticity; Sensorimotor Control


Course Code
  Course Name
KINESIOL 3HN3   Human Neurophysiology
KINESIOL 4CN3   Clinical Neurophysiology

A Sample of Our Publications


* Indicates students in my lab

  1. Turco CV*, Locke MB*, El-Sayes J*, Tommerdahl M, Nelson AJ. (2018). Exploring behavioral correlates of afferent inhibition. Brain Sciences. 8(4): 64.
  2. El-Sayes J*, Harasym D*, Turco CV, Locke MB*, Nelson AJ. (2018). Exercise-induced neuroplasticity: a mechanistic model and prospects for promoting plasticity. Neuroscientist.
  3. Ah Sen CB, Fassett HJ, El-Sayes J*, Turco CV*, Hameer MM, & Nelson AJ (2017). Active and resting motor threshold are efficiently obtained with adaptive threshold hunting. PloS ONE. 12(10): e0186007. eCollection 2017
  4. Turco CV*, El-Sayes J*, Savoie MS*, Fassett HJ*, Locke MB*, Nelson AJ (2017). Short- and Long-Latency Afferent Inhibition: Uses, Mechanisms, and Influencing Factors. Brain Stimulation. 11(1): 59-74
  5. Fassett, HJ*, Turco CV*, El-Sayes J*, Lulic T, Richardson B, Baker S, Nelson AJ (2017). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation with Intermitten Theta Burst Stimulation Alters Corticospinal Output in Patients with Chronic Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury. Frontiers in Neurology:380. eCollection 2017.
  6. Turco CV*, El-Sayes J*, Fassett HJ*, Chen R, Nelson AJ (2017). Modulation of long-latency afferent inhibition by the amplitude of sensory afferent volley. Journal of Neurophysiology. 118(1): 610-618.
  7. Lulic T, El-Sayes J*, Fassett HJ*, Nelson AJ (2017). Physical activity levels determine exercise-induced changes in brain excitability. PLoS ONE 12(3): e0173672.
  8. El-Sayes J* & Nelson AJ (2017). Auditory Brainstem Responses to Predict Literacy. Clin Neurophysiol 128(3):480-481.
  9. Bailey AZ*, Fassett HJ*, Lulic T*, El-Sayes J*, Nelson AJ. Non-invasive Brain Stimulation to Characterize and Alter Motor Function after Spinal Cord Injury. In "Recovery of Motor Function in Spinal Cord Injury", ISBN 978-953-51-4725-1, In-Tech Open Science, 2016.
  10. Nelson AJ (2016). Alterations in transcallosal communication following concussion. Clin Neurophysiol 127(10):3362-3.
  11. Mackenzie T*, Bailey AZ*, Mi P*, Tsang P*, Jones CB*, Nelson AJ (2016). Human area 5 modulates corticospinal output during movement preparation. NeuroReport 7(14):1056-60.
  12. Bailey AZ*, Asmussen MJ*, Nelson AJ (2016). Short-latency afferent inhibition determined by the sensory afferent volley. Journal of Neurophysiology 116(2):637-44.
  13. Fassett H* & Nelson AJ (2016). Relationship between intracortical inhibition and motor behavior; implications for incomplete spinal cord injury. Neurotransmitter
  14. Jones CB*, Lulic T, Bailey AZ*, MacKenzie TN*, Mi YQ*, Tommerdahl M, Nelson AJ (2016). Metaplasticity in human primary somatosensory cortex: effects on physiology and tactile perception. Journal of Neurophysiology 115(5):2681-91.
  15. Mi P*, Bailey AZ*, Nelson AJ (2016). Short- and Long-Intracortical Inhibition in Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 43(1):183-91.
  16. Asmussen M*, Bergel T, Bailey AZ*, Keir PJ, Potvin J, Nelson AJ (2016). Combining multiple data acquisition systems to study corticospinal output and multi-segment biomechanics. Journal of Visualized Experiments.
  17. Bailey AZ*, Mi YQ*, Nelson AJ. Short-latency afferent inhibition in chronic spinal cord injury. Translational Neuroscience 6(1):235-243. Impact factor: 1.31.
  18. Asmussen MJ*, Bailey AZ*, Nelson AJ (2015). Cortical and corticospinal output modulations during reaching movements with varying directions and magnitudes of interaction torques. Neuroscience 311:268-83.
  19. Tsang P*, Bailey AZ*, Nelson AJ (2015). Rapid-Rate Paired Associative Stimulation over the Primary Somatosensory Cortex. PLOS One 10(3):e0120731.
  20. Jones CB* & Nelson AJ. (2014). Promoting plasticity in the somatosensory cortex to alter motor physiology. Translational Neuroscience 5(4): 260-268.
  21. Asmussen MJ*, Zapallow CM*, Jacobs MF*, Lee KG*, Tsang P*, Nelson AJ. (2014). Modulation of short-latency afferent inhibition depends on digit and task-relevance. PLOS One 9(8): e104807.
  22. Bailey A*, Mi P*, Nelson AJ. (2014). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to Investigate Motor Cortical Circuitry and Plasticity in Spinal Cord Injury. Journal of Neurology and Stroke 1(2): 1-11.
  23. Tsang P*, Jacobs MF*, Lee KG*, Asmussen MJ*, Zapallow CM*, Nelson AJ. (2014). Continuous theta-burst over primary somatosensory cortex modulates short-latency afferent inhibition. Clinical Neurophysiology 125(11):2253-9.
  24. Jacobs MF*, Tsang P*, Lee KGH*, Asmussen MJ*, Zapallow CM*, Nelson AJ. 30 Hz theta-burst stimulation over primary somatosensory cortex modulates corticospinal output to the hand. Brain Stimulation 7(2):269-74.
  25. Lee KG*, Jacobs MF*, Asmussen MJ*, Zapallow CM*, Tommerdahl M, Nelson AJ (2013). Continuous theta-burst stimulation modulates tactile syncrhonization. BMC Neuroscience 14:89.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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 NeuroReport 23(16):927-31. PubMed Identifier: 22955142.
  29. Jacobs MF*, Premji A*, Nelson AJ (2012). Plasticity-inducing TMS protocols to investigate somatosensory control of hand function. Neural Plasticity: e350574. PubMed Identifier: 22666612.
  30. Nelson AJ, Premji A*,Rai N*,Hoque T*,Tommerdahl M, Chen R (2012). Dopamine alters tactile perception in Parkinson's disease. Can J Neurol Sci, 39(1):52-7. PubMed Identifier: 22384496.
  31. Rai N*, Premji A*,Tommerdahl M, Nelson AJ (2012). Continuous theta-burst rTMS over primary somatosensory cortex modulates tactile perception on the hand. Clinical Neurophysiology, 123(6):1226-33. PubMed Identifier: 22100859.
  32. Premji A*, Zapallow C*, Tsang P*,Tang R*, Jacobs M*, Nelson AJ (2011) Influence of area 5 on interhemispheric inhibition. Neuroreport, 22(18):974-8. PubMed Identifier: 22027515
  33. Premji A*, Rai N*, Nelson A (2011). Area 5 influences excitability within the primary motor cortex in humans. PLoS One, 6(5):e20023. PubMed Identifier: 21603571.
  34. Premji A*, Ziluk A*, Nelson AJ (2010). Bilateral somatosensory evoked potentials following intermittent theta-burst repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. BMC Neuroscience, 11:91. PubMed Identifier: 20687949.
  35. 27. Ziluk A*, Premji A*, Nelson AJ (2010). Functional connectivity from area 5 to primary motor cortex via paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation. Neuroscience Letters, 484(1):81-85. PubMed Identifier: 20709145
  36. Nelson AJ, Hoque T, Gunraj CA, Ni Z, Chen R (2010). Impaired Interhemispheric Inhibition in Writer’s Cramp. Neurology, 75(5):441-447. PubMed Identifier: 20679637.
  37. Nelson AJ, Blake D, Chen R (2009). Digit-specific aberrations in the somatosensory cortex in Writer’s Cramp. Annals of Neurology, 66(2):146-54. PubMed Identifier: 19743446.
  38. Nelson AJ, Chen R (2008). Digit somatotopy within cortical areas of the postcentral gyrus in humans. Cerebral Cortex, 18:2341-51. PubMed Identifier: 18245039.
Degree University Year
Postdoctoral Fellow Toronto Western Research Institute 2005-07
Postdoctoral Associate Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2003-05
PhD University of Toronto 2003
BSc McMaster University 1997
Degree Name
Mitchell LOCKE
Mitchell SAVOIE
Stephen TOEPP
PhD Claudia TURCO
PostDoc Dr. Chiara NICOLINI
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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Kinesiology