USC Inscription
Prof. Francisco Valero-Cuevas
Brain-Body Dynamics Lab
Kornelius image
In front of the world's 2nd largest observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, 2011.

Kornelius Rácz (Cornelius Raths),
Ph.D. (Neuroscience), Dipl.-Inf. (Computer Science), M.Sc. (Electrical Engineering), M.Sc. (Mechanical Engineering)



I have graduated from USC in May of 2012, with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, and I am now working as a medical device R&D engineer. If you have any questions, please contact me at the above email address.

Research Description

My first research project involves studying multi-finger grasp in humans, for which I employ methods from Nonlinear Dynamics and Time Series analysis. My goal is to determine the individual roles of passive musculosceletal properties, the spinal cord and cortical networks in maintaining grasp stability, respectively. In particular, I look at the roles that noise and sensorimotor delays play with respect to maintaining a stable grasp. My ultimate goal is to characterize the interaction between a possibly hierarchical controller with delayed access to sensors and actuators and a plant subject to perturbations and uncertainties. To this end, I graduated from the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Master's programs at USC in May 2010 and May 2011, respectively.

My second research project involves the analysis of redundant musculoskeletal systems, such as the hand, performing redundant motor tasks, such as three-finger static grasp: being so redundant, these tasks can be accomplished in many different ways, both in terms of muscle coordination patterns and the distribution of fingertip endpoint force vectors. I look at the benefits of such redundancies with regard to the mitigation of (muscle) fatigue and the opportunity to prolong task performance duration. This project involves modeling high-dimensional musculoskeletal systems and tasks, as well as simulations of coordination schedules computed using optimal control methods. Finally, we have conducted EMG measurements in isometric force production tasks that confirm and quantify the existence of dynamic muscle pattern switching.

In a third project, I use Time Series Analysis approaches in another project, a collaboration with Anil Sidhurakar, of the Motor Control Development Laboratory, headed by Nina Bradley, at BKN. We are studying the dynamics of domestic chick (Gallus gallus) postural control and more specifically, assess the influence of different incubation conditions on post-hatch motor development.

Brief Bio

I was born in Budapest, Hungary and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany. I did my A-Levels in Brighton, England, in 1997. After high school and before continuing my academic education, I spent one and a half years in the Camphill Community Ballytobin, Ireland (1999-2001), where I worked as a caretaker for children with autism and also worked on the farm.

I graduated from Tübingen University, Germany in 2006 with a Diplom (Master's equivalent) degree in Neuroinformatics, double-majoring in Philosophy. I have also spent one academic year (2004-05) at Brown University, Providence, RI, as a student of Computer Science, supported by a Fulbright Scholarship. I did my Diplom thesis work at the Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics (Empirical Inference Group, Prof. Bernhard Schölkopf), where I developed a MEG Brain-Computer Interface based on covert attention to tactile stimuli. While at MPI, I also developed Machine Learning approaches to the prediction of Spatial Hemineglect Disorder from voxelized MR images. Simultaneously, I worked on the decoding of sensory information in rodent cortex, at the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research. After leaving Tübingen, I joined the Neuroscience Graduate Program at USC. I joined the newly founded Brain-Body Dynamics Lab in September 2007. In 2011, I completed a summer internship with GE Global Research in Niskayuna, NY, during which I implemented a time series analysis application to detect and model changes in autonomous cardiomyocyte contraction dynamics, applied to time series extracted from videos. In May of 2012, I graduated from USC with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and joined a nearby company as a medical device R&D engineer, with a focus in signal processing.

page last modified on November 20, 2015.
currently maintained by: emily lawrence
originally designed by: kornelius rácz