John Soechting, PhD

Professor Emeritus, Department of Neuroscience

Professor Emeritus, Department of Neuroscience



Research Summary/Interests

Motor control neurophysiology

The grace of a basketball player or of a modern dancer has always fascinated me. How does the brain act to produce such skilled coordinated movements? We are far from answering these questions but my colleagues and I are working toward that goal by studying simpler movements which, I think, still capture the essentials of the problem of movements and coordination. We have been studying arm movements which require coordination of motion at the shoulder, elbow and wrist. Most of the work is done on human subjects and involves measuring motion in three dimensions and recording the activity of muscles which produce this motion. The nature of the problem has made this work highly interdisciplinary; we use techniques from psychology (psychophysics) and physiology to robotics and computer simulations. My approach has been to begin by studying behavior and to use a description of behavior to develop hypotheses concerning what the brain is doing to produce that behavior. The next step then is to test hypotheses by means of electrophysiological recording from behaving animals.


Flanders, M & Soechting, JF 2015, ‘The vision of Hsiao on somatosensation’ J Neurophysiol, vol. 113, no. 3, pp. 684-7.

Furuya, S & Soechting, JF 2012, ‘Speed invariance of independent control of finger movements in pianists’ J Neurophysiol, vol. 108, no. 7, pp. 2060-8.

Furuya, S, Flanders, M & Soechting, JF 2011, ‘Hand kinematics of piano playing’ J Neurophysiol, vol. 106, no. 6, pp. 2849-64.

Soechting, JF & Flanders, M 2011, ‘Multiple Factors Underlying Haptic Perception of Length and Orientation’ IEEE Trans Haptics, pp. 263-272.

Winges, SA & Soechting, JF 2011, ‘Spatial and temporal aspects of cognitive influences on smooth pursuit’ Exp Brain Res, vol. 211, no. 1, pp. 27-36.

Soechting, JF, Rao, HM & Juveli, JZ 2010, ‘Incorporating prediction in models for two-dimensional smooth pursuit’ PLoS One. Vol. 5, no. 9, pp. e12574.

Furuya, S & Soechting, JF 2010, ‘Role of auditory feedback in the control of successive keystrokes during piano playing’ Exp Brain Res, vol. 204, no. 2, pp. 223-37.

Winges, SA, Eonta, SE & Soechting, JF 2010, ‘Does temporal asynchrony affect multimodal curvature detection?’ Exp Brain Res, vol. 203, no. 1, pp. 1-9.

Soechting, JF, Juveli, JZ & Rao, HM, 2009, ‘Models for the extrapolation of target motion for manual interception’ J Neurophysiol, vol. 102, no. 3, pp. 1491-502.

Winges, SA, Eonta, SE, Soechting, JF & Flanders, M 2009, ‘Effects of object compliance on three-digit grasping’ J Neurophysiol, vol. 101, no. 5, pp. 2447-58.