Mitra J. Z. Hartmann

Mitra J. Z. Hartmann's picture

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Tech B284

+1 (847) 497-4633

Dr. Hartmann's research focuses on the neurobiology and biomechanics of active sensing behaviors, and on the development of bio-inspired computational models and hardware to test candidate neurobiological algorithms. Our lab is particularly interested in how sensory feedback is used in real time to guide motor activity, and how movement enables sensory acquisition and perception. The main scientific interests of the lab are:

  • How animal biomechanics enables efficient movement and active sensing
  • How animals represent 3-dimensional spatial information using spatiotemporal variations in activity across 2-dimensional receptor sheets
  • How the construction of hardware and computer models of animal movement and sensing can provide insights into the underlying organization of the nervous system

Current research in the laboratory concentrates specifically on the sensory modulation of behaviors involving rhythmic movement, because rhythmic movement, and perturbations to it, is relatively easy to observe, measure, and quantify. We work with two model systems that use sensory feedback to modulate fundamentally periodic activity: rat whisking behavior, and bipedal locomotion. By studying how sensory feedback affects periodic motion, we hope to gain insight into the continuous, recursive interplay between sensory and motor signals during active behaviors.

Postdoctoral Scholar, Bio-Inspired Technology and Systems Laboratory
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

Postdoctoral Scholar, Computational Neurobiology
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

Ph.D., Integrative Neuroscience
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

B.S., Applied and Engineering Physics
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY