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Noah J. Cowan, M.S., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Noah J. Cowan, M.S., Ph.D.

Joint Appointment in Neuroscience



  • Joint Appointment in Neuroscience

Departments / Divisions



  • B.S., Ohio State University (Ohio) (1995)
  • M.S., University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) (Michigan) (1997)
  • Ph.D., University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) (Michigan) (2001)

Research & Publications

Lab Website: Locomotion in Mechanical and Biological Systems (LIMBS) Laboratory

Selected Publications

For full, up-to-date publication list, see here:


*E. Roth, *S. Sponberg and N. J. Cowan. "A comparative approach to closed-loop computation". Curr Opin Neurobiol, 25:54-62, 2014. *Contributed equally.
N. J. Cowan, M. M. Ankarali, J. P. Dyhr, M. S. Madhav, E. Roth, S. Sefati, S. Sponberg, S. A. Stamper, E. S. Fortune, and T. L. Daniel . "Feedback control as a framework for understanding tradeoffs in biology".Integr Comp Biol, 54(2):223-237, 2014.


M. M. Ankaralı, H. Tutkun Şen, A. De, A. M. Okamura, and N. J. Cowan. "Haptic feedback enhances rhythmic motor control by reducing variability, not improving convergence rate". J Neurophysiol, 111(6):1286-1299, 2014.

S. Sefati, I. D. Neveln, E. Roth, T. R. T. Mitchell, J. B. Snyder, M. A. MacIver, E. S. Fortune and N. J. Cowan. "Mutually opposing forces during locomotion can eliminate the tradeoff between maneuverability and stability". PNAS, 110(47):18798-18803, 2013.

E. Roth, K. Zhuang, S. A. Stamper, E. S. Fortune, and N. J. Cowan. "Stimulus predictability mediates a switch in locomotor smooth pursuit performance for Eigenmannia virescens." Journal of Experimental Biology. 214:1170-1180, 2011.

N. J. Cowan and E. S. Fortune. "The critical role of locomotion mechanics in decoding sensory systems." Journal of Neuroscience, 27(5):1123-1128, 2007.

N. J. Cowan, J. Lee, and R. J. Full. "Task-level control of wall following in the American cockroach." Journal of Experimental Biology, 209(9):1617-1629, 2006.

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Mechanical Engineering



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