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Robotics Lab

CV of Ferdinando Mussa-Ivaldi

Personal details

Surname: Mussa-Ivaldi
Forenames: Ferdinando 

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Sensory Motor Performance Program 
Northwestern University
345 E Superior Street, Suite: 1406
60611 Chicago, IL, USA
Tel: 312-238-1230

Scientific education

PhD: University of Genova/Politecnico Milan 
Postdoctoral Fellow: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Grants and Awards

Learning and Adaptation of Multi-Joint Arm Movements - NIH/NINDS (R01 NS35673) 
Motor Learning for the Control of an Assistive Device - NIH R21 
Learning Technology for Enhanced Control of Devices in Spinal Cord Injury - Craig H. Neilsen Foundation 
Development of a Bidirectional Brain Machine Interface - NIH/NINDS (PI: L.Miller)

Teaching Experience

Professor: Department of Physiology and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 
Professor: Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University


Post Doctoral Fellows

  • Daohang Sha (2001-2003)
  • Emanuele Secco (2002-2004)
  • Michael Kositsky (2001-2005)
  • Alessandro Vato (2005-present)
  • Alon Fishbach
  • Felix Huang (2007-present)


  • Michela Chiappalone (2002-2003)
  • Alessandro Vato (2003-2004)
  • Vikram Chib (2003-2007)
  • Assaf Pressman (2006-present)
  • Zachary Danziger (2006-present)
  • Devjani Saha (2007-present)


  • 1979: Fellow of the European Traiing Programme in Brain and Behaviour Research 
  • 1983: Fellowship of the Italian National Research Council 
  • 1986: Fairchild Postdoctoral Fellow 
  • 1997: Best Paper Award: 1997 International Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Robotics and Automation. 
  • 2000: Selected Abstract for the 2000 Annual Meeting Press Book of the Society of Neuroscience


  • Society for Neuroscience 
  • IEEE: Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 
  • Robotics and Automation Society 
  • The American Physiological Society 
  • The Society of Neural Control of Movement

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

1. Pressman, A., Nisky, I., Karniel, A., & Mussa-Ivaldi, F. A. (2008). Probing virtual boundaries and the perception of delayed stiffness. Advanced Robotics, 22, In Press. 

2. Pressman, A., Welty, L. J., Karniel, A., & Mussa-Ivaldi, F. A. (2008). Perception of delayed stiffness. International Journal of Robotics Research, In Press.

3. J. L. Patton, M. Kovic, and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Custom-designed haptic training for restoring reaching ability to individuals with poststroke hemiparesis." Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 43: 643-656, 2006.

4. V. S. Chib, J. L. Patton, K. M. Lynch, and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Haptic identification of surfaces as fields of force," Journal of Neurophysiology, 95:1068-1077,2006 

5. J. L. Patton, M. E. Phillips-Stoykov, M. Stojacovich, W. Z. Rymer, and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Evaluation of robotic training forces that either enhance or reduce error in chronic hemiparetic stroke survivors," Experimental Brain Research, 168: 368-383, 2006. 

6. K. M. Mosier, R. A. Scheidt, S. Acosta, and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Remapping Hand Movements in a Novel Geometrical Environment," Journal of Neurophysiology, 94: 4362-4372, 2005. 

7. A. Karniel, M. Kositsky, K. M. Fleming, M. Chiappalone, V. Sanguineti, S. T. Alford, and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Computational Analysis in Vitro: Dynamics and Plasticity of a Neuro-Robotic System," Journal of Neural Engineering, 2: S250-S265, 2005. 

8. R. A. Scheidt, M. A. Conditt, E. L. Secco, and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Interaction of visual and proprioceptive feedback during adaptation of human reaching movements," Journal of Neurophysiology, 93: 3200-3213, 2005. 

9. F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi and S. A. Solla, "Neural Primitives for Motion Control," IEEE Journal of Ocean Engineering, 29:640-650, 2004. 

10. J. B. Dingwell, C. D. Mah, and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "An Experimentally Confirmed Mathematical Model for Human Control of a Non-Rigid Object.," Journal of Neurophysiology, 91: 1158-1170, 2004.

11. Patton, J. L., and Mussa-Ivaldi, F. A. "Robot-assisted adaptive training: custom force fields for teaching movement patterns." IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 51, 636-646. 2004 

12. F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi and L. E. Miller, "Brain–machine interfaces: computational demands and clinical needs meet basic neuroscience," Trends in Neurosciences, 26: 329-334, 2003. 

13. C.D. Mah, and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Generalization of Object Manipulation Skills Learned without Limb Motion," Journal of Neoroscience, 23: 4821-4825, 2003. 

14. A. Karniel and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Sequence, time or state representation: How does the motor control system adapt to variable environments?," Biological Cybernetics, vol. 89:10-21 , 2003. 

15. C. D. Mah, and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi "Evidence for a specific internal representation of motion force relationships during object manipulation". Biological Cybernetics 88: 60-72. 2003 

16. J. B. Dingwell, Mah, C.D., Mussa-Ivaldi, F.A. "Manipulating Objects With Internal Degrees of Freedom: Evidence for Model-Based Control" J Neurophysiology 88: 222-235. 2002 

17. Karniel, A., and Mussa-Ivaldi, F. A. "Does the motor control system use multiple models and context switching to cope with a variable environment?", Experimental Brain Research, 143:520-524 . 2002 

18. J.L. Patton, and F.A. Mussa-Ivaldi. "Linear combinations of nonlinear models for predicting human-machine interface forces." Biological Cybernetics. 86: 73-87, 2002. 

19. R.A. Scheidt, J.B.Dingwell, and F.A. Mussa-Ivaldi. "Learning to move amid uncertainty." Journal of Neurophysiology, 86, 971-985, 2001. 

20. F.A. Mussa-Ivaldi and E. Bizzi, "Motor learning through the combination of primitives". The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. London B. 355:1755-1769, 2000. 

21. B.D. Reger, K. M. Fleming, V. Sanguineti, S. Alford and F.A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Connecting brains to robots: The development of a hybrid system for the study of learning in neural tissue." Artificial Life.6:307-324, 2000. 

22. F.A. Mussa-Ivaldi. "Real brains for real robots." Nature, 408, 305-306. 2000 

23. F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi and J. L. Patton, "Robots can teach humans how to move their arms," Proceedings of the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp.300-305, 2000E.P. Loeb, S.F. Giszter, P. Saltiel, E. Bizzi, and F.A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Output units of motor behavior: an experimental and modeling study." Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience., 12, 78-97. 

24. R.A. Scheidt, D.J. Reinkensmeyer, M.A. Conditt, W.Z. Rymer and F.A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Persistence of Motor Adaptation During Constrained, Multi-Joint Arm Movements". Journal of Neurophysiology,vol. 84, 853-862, 2000 

25. E. D. Fasse, N. Hogan, B. A. Kay, and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Haptic interaction with virtual objects," Biological Cybernetics, vol. 82, pp. 69-83, 1999. 

26. F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Modular features of motor control and learning," Current Opinion in Neurobiology, vol. 9, pp. 713-717, 1999.

27. S. E. Hua, J. C. Houk, and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Emergence of symmetric, modular and reciprocal connections in recurrent networks with Hebbian learning.," Biological Cybernetics., vol. 81, pp. 221-225, 1999.

28. M. A. Conditt and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Central representation of time during motor learning.," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA., vol. 96, pp. 11625-11630, 1999.

29. E. Bizzi and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Neural basis of motor control and its cognitive implications.," Trends in Cognitive Sciences, vol. 2, pp. 97-102, 1998.

30. E. Bizzi and F. Mussa-Ivaldi, "The acquisition of motor behavior," Daedalus, vol. 127, pp. 217-232, 1998.

31. M. A. Conditt, F. Gandolfo, and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "The motor system does not learn the dynamics of the arm by rote memorization of past experience," Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 78, pp. 554-560, 1997.

32. F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Nonlinear force fields: a distributed system of control primitives for representing and learning movements," Proceedings of the 1997 IEEE International Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Robotics and Automation, pp. 84-90, 1997. (Best Paper Award) 

33. J. McIntyre, F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, and E. Bizzi, "The Control of Stable Postures in the Multi-Joint Arm," Experimental Brain Research, vol. 110, pp. 248-264, 1996.

34. F. Gandolfo, F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, and E. Bizzi, "Motor learning by field approximation," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 93, pp. 3843-6, 1996.

35. R. Shadmehr, T. Brashers-Krug, and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Interference in Learning Internal Models of Inverse Dynamics in Humans," in Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems, vol. 7, G. Tesauro, D. S. Touretsky, and T. K. Leen, Eds. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996, pp. 19-26.

36. E. Bizzi, S. F. Giszter, E. Loeb, F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, and P. Saltiel, "Modular organization of motor behavior in the frog's spinal cord," Trends In Neuroscience, vol. 18, pp. 442-446, 1995.

37. R. Shadmehr and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Adaptive Representation of Dynamics During Learning of a Motor Task," Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 14, pp. 3208-3224, 1994.

38. F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, S. F. Giszter, and E. Bizzi, "Linear Combination of Primitives in Vertebrate Motor Control," Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, vol. 91, pp. 7534-7538, 1994.

39. M. Dornay, F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, J. McIntyre, and E. Bizzi, "Stability Constraints for the Distributed Control of Motor Behavior," Neural Networks, vol. 6, pp. 1045-1059, 1993.

40. R. Shadmehr, F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, and E. Bizzi, "Postural Force Fields of the Human Arm and Their Role in Generating Multi-Joint Movements," Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 13, pp. 45-62, 1993.

41. S. F. Giszter, F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, and E. Bizzi, "Convergent Force Fields Organized in the Frog's Spinal Cord," Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 13, pp. 476-491, 1993.

42. F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "From Basis Functions to Basis Fields. Vector Field Approximation from Sparse Data," Biological Cybernetics, vol. 67, pp. 479-489, 1992.

43. F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi and S. F. Giszter, "Vector Field Approximation: A Computational Paradigm for Motor Control," Biological Cybernetics, vol. 67, pp. 491-500, 1992.

44. E. Bizzi, N. Hogan, F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, and S. F. Giszter, "Does the Nervous System Use Equilibrium-Point Control to Guide Single and Multiple Joint Movements?," Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol. 15, pp. 603-613, 1992.

45. F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi and N. Hogan, "Integrable Solutions of Kinematic Redundancy Via Impedance Control," The International Journal of Robotics Research, vol. 10, pp. 481-491, 1991.

46. E. Bizzi, F. Mussa-Ivaldi, and S. Giszter, "Computations underlying the execution of movement: A biological perspective," Science, vol. 253, pp. 287-291, 1991.

47. T. Flash and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Human Arm Stiffness Characteristics During the Maintenance of Posture," Experimental Brain Research, vol. 82, pp. 315-326., 1990.

48. F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, S. F. Giszter, and E. Bizzi, "Motor-Space Coding in the Central Nervous System," in Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology, vol. 55. NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1990, pp. 827-835.

49. N. Hogan, B. A. Kay, E. D. Fasse, and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Haptic Illusions: Experiments on Human Manipulation and Perception of "Virtual Objects"," in Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology, vol. 55. NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1990, pp. 925-931. 

50. F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, P. Morasso, and R. Zaccaria, "Kinematic Networks. A Distributes Model for Representing and Regularizing Motor Redundancy," Biological Cybernetics, vol. 60, pp. 1-16, 1988.

51. F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Do Neurons in the Motor Cortex Encode Movement Direction? An Alternative Hypothesis," Neuroscience Letters, vol. 91, pp. 106-111, 1988.

52. G. M. Gauthier and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Oculo-manual tracking of visual targets in monkey: role of the arm afferent information in the control of arm and eye movements," Experimental Brain Research, vol. 73, pp. 138-154, 1988.

53. G. M. Gauthier, J. L. Vercher, F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, and E. Marchetti, "Oculo-anual tracking of visual targets: control learning, coordination control and coordination model," Experimental Brain Research, vol. 73, pp. 127-137, 1988.

54. E. Bizzi, F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, and N. Hogan, "Regulation of Multi-Joint Arm Posture and Movement," Progress in Brain Research, vol. 64, pp. 345-351, 1985.

55. F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, N. Hogan, and E. Bizzi, "Neural, Mechanical and Geometric Factors Subserving Arm Posture in Humans," Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 5, pp. 2732-2743, 1985.

56. P. Morasso, F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, and C. Ruggiero, "How a Discontinuous Mechanism Can Produce Continuous Patterns in Trajectory Formation and Handwriting," Acta Psychologica, vol. 54, pp. 83-98, 1983.

57. P. Morasso and F. A. Mussa-Ivaldi, "Trajectory Formation and Handwriting: A Computational Model," Biological Cybernetics, vol. 45, pp. 131-142, 1982.

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