Professional areas of interest
Humans and other animals exhibit astoundingly versatile and robust motor behavior. Nevertheless, there are limits to their capabilities like when an experienced runner loses balance and falls, or even mild neuromuscular diseases have surprisingly severe effects. Understanding the physical and biological underpinnings of these performance limits will lead to fundamental insights about how biology deals with competing demands on motor behavior. In turn, this understanding will shed light on how diseases impair our functioning, and may help improve treatments, surgical techniques, design of prosthetics, rehabilitation regimens, and also the design of robots.
How are these limits of performance affected by disease, age, training, or ontogeny? Do humans and animals outperform their robotic counterparts because of or despite the nonlinearities and `sloppiness' inherent to biology? Have humans and other animals finely-tuned their sloppiness through evolution in order to achieve the robustness one associates with biology? Can we and how do we extract design and control principles for understanding biomechanical function and also for improving the state of modern robotics? Such questions about animals and machines, ranging in scale from collections of muscle fibers to the whole organism, are at the heart of my research.
- M. Venkadesan, J. Guckenheimer, F.J. Valero-Cuevas. Manipulating the edge of instability. Journal of Biomechanics, 40(8):1653-1661, 2007. DOI | PMID | PDF . 2006 Journal of Biomechanics award ( )
- M.Venkadesan, F.J. Valero-Cuevas. Neural control of motion-to-force transitions with the fingertip. Journal of Neuroscience, 28(6):1366-1373, 2008. DOI | PMID | PDF
- F.J. Valero-Cuevas†, M. Venkadesan†, and E. Todorov†. Structured variability of muscle activations supports the minimal intervention principle of motor control. Journal of Neurophysiology, 102(1):59–68, 2009. DOI | PMID | PDF . †Equal contribution.
- D.E. Lieberman, M. Venkadesan†, W.A. Werbel†, A.A. Daoud†, S. D'Andrea, I.S. Davis, R.O. Mang'Eni, and Y. Pitsiladis. Foot strike patterns and impact forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. Nature, 463(7280):531–35, 2010. DOI | PMID | More information | Press coverage. †Equal contribution
- M.Venkadesan, L. Mahadevan. Optimal strategies for throwing accurately. In Review, Preprint arXiv:1008.1442, 2010. arXiv | Press Coverage.
- K.M. Mosier, C. Lau, Y. Wang, M. Venkadesan, and F.J. Valero-Cuevas. Controlling instabilities in manipulation requires specific cortical-striatal-cerebellar networks. Journal of Neurophysiology, In Press, 2011. DOI | PMID | PDF . †Equal contribution.
|B.Tech.||Indian Institute of Technology, Madras - Mechanical Engineering||1996|
|M.S.||Cornell University - Mechanical Engineering (F. Valero-Cuevas )||2003|
|Ph.D.||Cornell University - Mechanical Engineering (F. Valero-Cuevas )||2007|
|Postdoc||Cornell University - Mechanical Engineering (F. Valero-Cuevas )||2006-2007|
|Postdoc||Cornell University - Mathematics (J. Guckenheimer )||2007-2008|
|Postdoc||Harvard University - Applied Mathematics (L. Mahadevan ) and Human Evolutionary Biology (D. Lieberman )||2008-2010|
|Assistant Professor||National Centre for Biological Sciences||2010-|
Mentors, Collaborators, and other interesting people
- Francisco Valero-Cuevas (PhD advisor, Brain Body Dynamics Lab )
- John Guckenheimer (Postdoc advisor)
- L. Mahadevan (Applied Math Lab) (Postdoc advisor)
- Daniel Lieberman (Postdoc advisor, Skeletal Biology Lab )
- Andy Ruina
- Emanuel Todorov
- John Milton
- Neville Hogan
- Manoj Srinivasan
- Sam Walcott
- Kevin Keenan
- Neil Roach
- John Higgins
- Robert Clewley
- Alexander Vladimirsky
- Dinesh Pai