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Karen Moxon

Karen Moxon, PhD

University of California, Davis

Office: Bossone 718
Phone: 215.895.2215


Dr. Moxon has conducted ground breaking research in neuroengineering, developing computational approaches to study the encoding of sensory and motor information. An important focus of her work is the impact of neural injury on the representation of information in the brain. Early in her career, she contributed to the first demonstration of a closed-loop, real-time brain-machine interface system in a rat model that was quickly translated to non-human primates and, more recently, to humans with neurological disorders. This work has spurred an entirely new discipline within neuroengineering that has had a global impact. Dr. Moxon maintains an active research program, combining signal processing and the development of neural interface devices with computational approaches to study how changes in neural encoding contribute to recovery of function after spinal cord injury.


  • "Optoelectronic Remotely Powered Silicon-based Hybrid Neural Electrode", Registration No. 36,317, Filing Date July 21, 2008.
  • "Chronic, in-vivo neurotransmitter sensor", Serial No. US11/879,616, Filing Date July 18, 2007.
  • "Wireless controlled neuromodulation system" Serial No. US11/753,256 Filing Date May 24, 2007.
  • "Method to quantitatively measure effect of psychotropic drugs on sensory discrimination", Serial No. 60/760,211, Filing Date January 19, 2006, pending.
  • "Ceramic based multi-site electrode arrays and methods for their production", serial No. 09/000,601, Filing Date, October 19, 2001, Awarded September, 2004.


  • PhD, University of Colorado, Systems Engineering, 1994 
  • MS, University of Colorado, Systems Engineering, 1991
  • BS, University of Michigan, Chemical Engineering, 1984

Research Interests

Computational modeling, neural modeling, neurorobotics, neuromimetics, neurocontrol, multiple,single neuron recording.


  • Chapin, J.K., Moxon, K.A., Markowitz, R.S., Nicolelis, M.A.L. Realtime control of a robot arm using simultaneously recorded neurons. Nature Neuroscience, 2(7):1-7, 1999.
  • Foffani G., Moxon, K.A., PSTH-Based classification of sensory stimuli, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 135:107-120, 2004.
  • Leiser S., Moxon K.A., Somatotopic organization of the rat trigeminal ganglion, Journal of Neurophysiology, 95:3129-3145, 2006.
  • Leiser S., Moxon K.A., Response properties of rat trigeminal ganglion neurons during natural whisking behaviors, Neuron, 53(1):117-33, 2007.
  • Scaglione A, Foffani G, Scannella G, Cerutti C, Moxon KA Mutual Information Expansion for Studying the Role of Correlations in Population Codes: How Important Are Auto-Correlations? Neural Computation, 20(11):2662-95, 2008.
  • Moxon KA, Hale LL, Aguilar J, Foffani G, Responses of infragranular neurons in the rat primary somatosensory cortex to forepaw and hindpaw tactile stimuli, Neuroscience, 156(4):1083-1092, 2008.
  • Kao T, Shumsky JS, Murray M, Moxon K. Exercise induces cortical plasticity after neonatal spinal cord injury in the rat, J Neurosci 29(23):7549-7557, 2009.
  • Grasse D, Moxon KA, A method for correcting the bias in the estimate of the spike field coherence due to finite number of spikes, J Neurophysiol. 2010 May 19. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 20484529.
  • Aguilar J, Humanes-Valera D, Alonso-Calviño E, Yague JG, Moxon KA, Oliviero A, Foffani G, Spinal cord injury immediately changes the state of the brain, J Neuroscience, in press, 2010