Francisco Valero-Cuevas, PhD





Brain-Body Dynamics Laboratory

Mailing Address:

1540 Alcazar St., CHP 155, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9006

Current Research:

The work of the Brain-Body Dynamics Laboratory, directed by Prof. Francisco Valero-Cuevas, focuses on the fundamental mechanisms of interactions between the brain and the body that give rise to versatile physical function. Our conceptual approach is that machines and organisms are part of a continuum of solutions that have evolved to respond to the demands of the physical environment. They differ only in their means to respond to these demands. Therefore, the apparently separate fields of Neuroscience, Computation & Modeling, Biomechanics, Manipulation, Robotics & Clinical Research (which have historically been mostly studied in isolation) can be combined and applied to the grand challenges of reverse engineering neuromuscular systems to understand the neuro-mechanical basis for versatile physical function, improve clinical restoration of function, and create innovative versatile machines. We insist on anatomical and neurophysiological fidelity, mathematical and computational rigor, and clinical usefulness. More specifically, a rich mixture of behavioral, experimental and conceptual tools enables the theoretical and experimental lines of research and development in our laboratory. These projects include studies of able and impaired human function, electrophysiological recordings from muscles and the brain, structural and functional MRI, and novel virtual reality environments. The conceptual basis of our work comes from computational neuroscience, linear systems theory, nonlinear dynamics, machine learning, control theory, and computational geometry. Our more recent applications range from novel clinical measures of dynamic manipulation, innovative robot design and control, and immersive environments for rehabilitation. We have laboratory and graduate student facilities in both the University Park and Health Sciences campuses

Professional Interests
Our laboratory is dedicated to understanding the biomechanics, neuromuscular control and clinical rehabilitation of complex neuromuscular systems such as the human hand. Towards this end, we employ a synergy of experimental and theoretical techniques. Our diverse experimental arsenal ranges from EMG recording and custom-made virtual reality modules, to human brain mapping with fMRI. These procedures in turn inform theoretical work to characterize neuromuscular function through rigorous and complete neuromuscular computer models, artificial intelligence, and nonlinear systems analysis.
  • Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA, B.S. Engineering, 1988
  • Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, MS Eng 1991
  • Stanford University, Stanford, CA, Ph.D. Mech. Eng./Biomechan. 1997
Selected Publications

 A complete list of publications are available here: and


 Click here for Dr. Francisco Valero-Cuevas' CV