Nicholas G. Hatsopoulos, PhD

Our research focuses on the cortical basis of motor control and learning. We are investigating what features of motor behavior are encoded and how this information is represented in the collective activity of large neuronal ensembles in the motor, premotor, and somatosensory cortices. We are also interested in what way these representations change as motor learning occurs. Our approach has been to simultaneously record neural activity from large groups of neurons using multi-electrode arrays while performing detailed kinematic, kinetic, and muscle measurements of goal-directed, motor behaviors, and to develop mathematical models that relate neural activity with behavior. These mathematical models provide insights as to what aspects of motor behavior are being encoded in cortical neurons, but also can be used to decipher or “decode” neural activity in order to predict movement which has practical implications for brain-machine interface development. Ultimately, this research may lead to neural prosthetic technologies that will allow people with spinal cord injury, ALS, or amputation to use brain signals to voluntarily control a device so as to interact with the world.

Brown University
Providence, RI
- Neuroscience
1998

California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA
- Neuroscience
1995

Brown University
Providence, RI
Ph.D. - Cognitive Science
1992

Brown University
Providence, RI
Sc.M. - Psychology
1991

Williams College
Williamstown, MA
B.A. - Physics
1984

Neural population dynamics in motor cortex are different for reach and grasp.
Suresh AK, Goodman JM, Okorokova EV, Kaufman M, Hatsopoulos NG, Bensmaia SJ. Neural population dynamics in motor cortex are different for reach and grasp. Elife. 2020 11 17; 9.
PMID: 33200745

Integrating XMALab and DeepLabCut for high-throughput XROMM.
Laurence-Chasen JD, Manafzadeh AR, Hatsopoulos NG, Ross CF, Arce-McShane FI. Integrating XMALab and DeepLabCut for high-throughput XROMM. J Exp Biol. 2020 Sep 04; 223(Pt 17).
PMID: 32665442

Decoding hand kinematics from population responses in sensorimotor cortex during grasping.
Okorokova EV, Goodman JM, Hatsopoulos NG, Bensmaia SJ. Decoding hand kinematics from population responses in sensorimotor cortex during grasping. J Neural Eng. 2020 08 17; 17(4):046035.
PMID: 32442987

Propagating Motor Cortical Dynamics Facilitate Movement Initiation.
Balasubramanian K, Papadourakis V, Liang W, Takahashi K, Best MD, Suminski AJ, Hatsopoulos NG. Propagating Motor Cortical Dynamics Facilitate Movement Initiation. Neuron. 2020 05 06; 106(3):526-536.e4.
PMID: 32145183

A platform for semiautomated voluntary training of common marmosets for behavioral neuroscience.
Walker JD, Pirschel F, Gidmark N, MacLean JN, Hatsopoulos NG. A platform for semiautomated voluntary training of common marmosets for behavioral neuroscience. J Neurophysiol. 2020 04 01; 123(4):1420-1426.
PMID: 32130092

Postural Representations of the Hand in the Primate Sensorimotor Cortex.
Goodman JM, Tabot GA, Lee AS, Suresh AK, Rajan AT, Hatsopoulos NG, Bensmaia S. Postural Representations of the Hand in the Primate Sensorimotor Cortex. Neuron. 2019 12 04; 104(5):1000-1009.e7.
PMID: 31668844

Movement Decomposition in the Primary Motor Cortex.
Kadmon Harpaz N, Ungarish D, Hatsopoulos NG, Flash T. Movement Decomposition in the Primary Motor Cortex. Cereb Cortex. 2019 04 01; 29(4):1619-1633.
PMID: 29668846

Dynamics of motor cortical activity during naturalistic feeding behavior.
Liu S, Iriate-Diaz J, Hatsopoulos NG, Ross CF, Takahashi K, Chen Z. Dynamics of motor cortical activity during naturalistic feeding behavior. J Neural Eng. 2019 04; 16(2):026038.
PMID: 30721881

Primary sensorimotor cortex exhibits complex dependencies of spike-field coherence on neuronal firing rates, field power, and behavior.
Arce-McShane FI, Sessle BJ, Ross CF, Hatsopoulos NG. Primary sensorimotor cortex exhibits complex dependencies of spike-field coherence on neuronal firing rates, field power, and behavior. J Neurophysiol. 2018 07 01; 120(1):226-238.
PMID: 29589815

Nonmonotonic spatial structure of interneuronal correlations in prefrontal microcircuits.
Safavi S, Dwarakanath A, Kapoor V, Werner J, Hatsopoulos NG, Logothetis NK, Panagiotaropoulos TI. Nonmonotonic spatial structure of interneuronal correlations in prefrontal microcircuits. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 04 10; 115(15):E3539-E3548.
PMID: 29588415

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Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring
University of Chicago
2016