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Motor Learning, Motor Memories, and the Brain
Reza Shadmehr, Ph.D.
Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience

Dr. Reza Shadmehr

The brain discounts reward as a function of time, as evidenced by how long we are willing to wait for a rewarding outcome.  If purpose of a movement is to place the body in a valuable state, duration of that movement costs the steep discounter (impulsive person) more than the shallow discounter (patient person).  This theory predicts that if there is a link between how we make decisions and how we move, then the person who has a steep discount function should in general move faster (more vigor) than the person who has a shallow function.  That is, there may be a link between how we make decisions, and the vigor with which we move.

Reza Shadmehr was born in Tehran, Iran and immigrated to the United States at the age of 14. Reza Shadmehr was a Ph.D. student of Prof. Michael Arbib at University of Southern California, where he developed theories for control of bio-mechanical systems.  He was a post-doc in the laboratory of Prof. Emilio Bizzi at MIT, where he developed theories on human motor learning and used robots to test these theories in humans.

Education
•         1985 BS in Electrical Engineering, Gonzaga University
•         1987 MS in Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California
•         1991 PHD in Computer Science (Robotics), University of Southern California
•         1991-94 McDonnell-Pew Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT

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