Sandro Mussa-Ivaldi

Sandro Mussa-Ivaldi is Professor of Physiology in the Medical School at Northwestern University, with joint appointments in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Biomedical Engineering. He is also Founder and Director of the Robotics Laboratory at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

  • Biological Learning and Control

    Biological Learning and Control

    How the Brain Builds Representations, Predicts Events, and Makes Decisions

    Reza Shadmehr and Sandro Mussa-Ivaldi

    A novel theoretical framework that describes a possible rationale for the regularity in how we move, how we learn, and how our brain predicts events.

    In Biological Learning and Control, Reza Shadmehr and Sandro Mussa-Ivaldi present a theoretical framework for understanding the regularity of the brain's perceptions, its reactions to sensory stimuli, and its control of movements. They offer an account of perception as the combination of prediction and observation: the brain builds internal models that describe what should happen and then combines this prediction with reports from the sensory system to form a belief.

    Considering the brain's control of movements, and variations despite biomechanical similarities among old and young, healthy and unhealthy, and humans and other animals, Shadmehr and Mussa-Ivaldi review evidence suggesting that motor commands reflect an economic decision made by our brain weighing reward and effort. This evidence also suggests that the brain prefers to receive a reward sooner than later, devaluing or discounting reward with the passage of time; then as the value of the expected reward changes in the brain with the passing of time (because of development, disease, or evolution), the shape of our movements will also change.

    The internal models formed by the brain provide the brain with an essential survival skill: the ability to predict based on past observations. The formal concepts presented by Shadmehr and Mussa-Ivaldi offer a way to describe how representations are formed, what structure they have, and how the theoretical concepts can be tested.

    • Hardcover $50.00


  • The Cognitive Neurosciences, Fourth Edition

    The Cognitive Neurosciences, Fourth Edition

    Michael S. Gazzaniga

    The fourth edition of the work that defines the field of cognitive neuroscience, offering completely new material.

    Each edition of this classic reference has proved to be a benchmark in the developing field of cognitive neuroscience. The fourth edition of The Cognitive Neurosciences continues to chart new directions in the study of the biologic underpinnings of complex cognition—the relationship between the structural and physiological mechanisms of the nervous system and the psychological reality of the mind. The material in this edition is entirely new, with all chapters written specifically for it.

    Since the publication of the third edition, the field of cognitive neuroscience has made rapid and dramatic advances; fundamental stances are changing and new ideas are emerging. This edition reflects the vibrancy of the field, with research in development and evolution that finds a dynamic growth pattern becoming specific and fixed, and research in plasticity that sees the neuronal systems always changing; exciting new empirical evidence on attention that also verifies many central tenets of longstanding theories; work that shows the boundaries of the motor system pushed further into cognition; memory research that, paradoxically, provides insight into how humans imagine future events; pioneering theoretical and methodological work in vision; new findings on how genes and experience shape the language faculty; new ideas about how the emotional brain develops and operates; and research on consciousness that ranges from a novel mechanism for how the brain generates the baseline activity necessary to sustain conscious experience to a bold theoretical attempt to make the problem of qualia more tractable.

    • Hardcover $39.75