University of Southern California

USC Neuroscience

Jason Kutch


Assistant Professor

Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy
Ostrow School of Dentistry

Research Topics

  1. Neural mechanisms for muscle activation
  2. Engineering of non-invasive systems to study human motor function
  3. Neuromuscular disorders

Research Overview

My research is focused on three goals: 1) To understand how the complex networks in the central and peripheral nervous systems produce coordinated activity in muscle fibers. 2) To engineer practical, non-invasive systems to study these networks in humans. 3) To apply our findings and technology to improve the lives of people with neuromuscular disorders. My research has shown that micro fluctuations in the forces exerted by the muscles in the human body contain a large amount of information about how the central nervous system (CNS) is coordinating multiple muscles. I have also found that associating these fluctuations with electrical activity in individual muscles reveals how the CNS is regulating the activation of spinal motoneurons that control the muscle. These two findings form the basis for noninvasive technology that can assess whether the CNS is properly controlling muscle at the spinal level, and may help reveal the mechanism of impairment in neuromuscular disorders.

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Office Location:
CHP 155
Office Phone:
(323) 442-5550
(323) 442-1515


  • B.S.E. 2001 Mechanical Engineering - Princeton University
  • Ph.D. 2008 Applied Mathematics - University of Michigan

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Selected Publications

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Kutch JJ,Valero-Cuevas FJ - Muscle redundancy does not imply robustness to muscle dysfunction. - J Biomech [2011] Apr 29;44(7):1264-70 -PubMed

Kutch JJ,Kuo AD,Rymer WZ - Extraction of individual muscle mechanical action from endpoint force. - J Neurophysiol [2010] Jun;103(6):3535-46 -PubMed

Kutch JJ,Valero-Cuevas FJ - Computational hypothesis testing for neuromuscular systems. - Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc [2010] ;2010():5436-9 -PubMed

Valero-Cuevas FJ,Hoffmann H,Kurse MU,Kutch JJ,Theodorou EA - Computational Models for Neuromuscular Function. - IEEE Rev Biomed Eng [2009] ;2():110-135 -PubMed

Kutch JJ,Kuo AD,Bloch AM,Rymer WZ - Endpoint force fluctuations reveal flexible rather than synergistic patterns of muscle cooperation. - J Neurophysiol [2008] Nov;100(5):2455-71 -PubMed

Kutch JJ,Suresh NL,Bloch AM,Rymer WZ - Analysis of the effects of firing rate and synchronization on spike-triggered averaging of multidirectional motor unit torque. - J Comput Neurosci [2007] Jun;22(3):347-61 -PubMed

Kutch JJ,Buchanan TS - Human elbow joint torque is linearly encoded in electromyographic signals from multiple muscles. - Neurosci Lett [2001] Sep 28;311(2):97-100 -PubMed