Jordan Taylor
Human Neuroscience
Human Neuroscience

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, 2007

Research: Motor control and learning
PDF icon jordan-taylor-cv-2014.pdf
429 Peretsman-Scully Hall

Research Focus

We possess a remarkable ability to learn new motor skills and retain memories for those skills throughout life, such as riding a bicycle. The ease with which we perform these skills belies their overwhelming computational complexity. My research focuses on unraveling the different computational processes involved in solving this motor control problem. One area of research aims at understanding how verbally-based strategies interact with implicit motor adaptation during skill acquisition. Specifically, how do novel movement strategies arise, what are the functional consequences of their interaction with learning, and what are their respective neural systems? Insight into these processes may be gained by considering different models for action-selection, such as model-free and model-based reinforcement learning, and combining them with models for sensorimotor adaptation.

Another area of my research concerns the role of feedback in motor learning. Motor tasks offer a unique situation where learning may be dependent on both a fine measure of movement performance, in the form of sensory-prediction errors, and a coarse measure of task performance, in the form of reward-prediction errors. Both errorfeedback mechanisms appear to follow similar computational principles for learning. However, there are striking differences in their respective neural regions, neurotransmitters, and neural architectures, suggesting that each system provides a unique contribution to learning. Insight into how the motor system coordinates learning by these very different systems can be gained by examining feedback-dependent learning deficits in neurological populations with damage to the cerebellum, basal ganglia, medial temporal lobe, and prefrontal cortex. Ultimately, we hope that this work can lead to the development of optimal training protocols that can guide learning towards different, but still functioning learning mechanisms following stroke or disease

Selected Publications


  • Taylor JA, Krakauer JW, and Ivry RB. Explicit and implicit contributions to learning in a sensorimotor adaptation task. The Journal of Neuroscience 34(8):3023-3032. PDF
  • Taylor JA and Ivry RB. Cerebellar and prefrontal cortex contributions to adaptation, strategies, and reinforcement learning. Progress in Brain Research (in press). PDF


  • Fan JE, Turk-Browne NB, and Taylor JA. Feedback driven tuning of statistical summary representations. Visual Cognition. 21(6):1-4. (2013). PDF
  • Taylor JA and Ivry RB. Context-dependent Generalization. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 7:171 (2013). PDF
  • Taylor JA and Ivry RB. Implicit and explicit processes in motor learning. Action Science: Foundations of an Emerging Discipline. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. February (2013). PDF
  • Taylor JA, Hieber LL, and Ivry RB. Feedback-dependent Generalization. The Journal of Neurophysiology Jan; 109(1):202-15. PDF


  • Taylor JA, Krakauer JW, and Ivry RB. Multiple learning processes operate continuously throughout learning. Translational and computational motor control. Vol XI (2012). PDF
  • Taylor JA and Ivry RB. The role of strategies in motor learning. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, The Year in Cognitive Neuroscience. 1241:1-12. (2012). PDF


  • Taylor JA, Wojaczynski GJ, and Ivry RB. Trial-by-trial analysis of intermanual transfer of adaptation. The Journal of Neurophysiology. Dec;106(6):3157-72 (2011). PDF
  • Taylor JA and Ivry RB. Flexible strategies during motor learning. PLoS Computational Biology, Mar 7(3):e10001096 (2011). PDF
  • Morehead JR, Butcher PA and Taylor JA. Does fast learning depend on declarative mechanisms. The Journal of Neuroscience. 31(14): 5184-5185. (2011). PDF
  • Norris SA, Hathaway E, Taylor JA, and Thach WT. Cerebellar Inactivation Impairs Memory of Learned Prism Gaze-Reach Calibrations. The Journal of Neurophysiology. 105:2248-2259, (2011). PDF
  • Stoloff RH, Taylor JA, Xu J, Ridderikhoff A, and Ivry RB. Effect of reinforcement history on hand choice in an unconstrained reaching task. Frontiers in Neuroscience. Mar 23 (2011). PDF
  • Prinzmetal W, Taylor JA, Myers LB, and Nguyen-Espino J. Contingent Capture And Inhibition of Return: A Comparison of Mechanisms. Experimental Brain Research. 214:47–60 (2011). PDF
  • Taylor JA and Ivry RB. Feedback-dependent generalization of visuomotor adaptation. Advances in Computational Motor Control Vol. X (2011). PDF


  • Taylor JA, Klemfuss NM, and Ivry RB. An explicit strategy prevails when the cerebellum fails to compute movement errors. Cerebellum. Dec;9(4):580-6 (2010). PDF
  • Reid EK, Norris SA, Taylor JA, Hathaway EN, Smith AJ, Yittri EA, and Thach WT. Is the parvocellular red nucleus involved in cerebellar motor learning? Current Trends in Neurology, 3:15-22 (2010). PDF




  • Taylor JA, Ghorayshi A, and Ivry RB. The Cost of Strategic Control: Attenuation of Adaptation. Advances in Computational Motor Control Vol. VIII (2009). PDF




  • Taylor JA and Thoroughman KA. Motor adaptation scaled by the difficulty of secondary cognitive task. PLoS ONE, Jun 18;3(6) (2008). PDF
  • Wang X, Xu R, Abernathey G, Taylor J, Alzghoul MG, Hannon K, Hockerman GH, Pond AL. Kv11.1 channel subunit composition included MinK and varies developmentally in mouse cardiac muscle. Developmental Dynamics Sep;237(9):2430-7 (2008). PDF


  • Taylor JA and Thoroughman KA. Divided attention impairs motor adaptation but not feedback control. The Journal of Neurophysiology, 98: 317-326 (2007). PDF
  • Thoroughman KA, Fine MS, and Taylor JA. Trial-by-trial motor adaptation: window into elemental neural computation. Progress in Brain Research, 165: 373-382 (2007). PDF
  • Taylor JA and Thoroughman K.A. Divided attention during motor memory formation affects specifically fast adaptive processes and alters mid-movement feedback control. Advances in Computational Motor Control Vol. VI (2007). PDF


  • Thoroughman KA and Taylor JA. Rapid reshaping of human motor generalization. The Journal of Neuroscience, 25: 8948-8953 (2005). PDF


  • Taylor J, Babbs CF, Alzghoul MB, Olsen A, Latour M, Pond AL, and Hannon K. Optimization of ectopic gene expression in skeletal muscle through DNA transfer by electroporation. BMC Biotechnology, 4: 11 (2004). PDF
  • Thoroughman KA and Taylor JA. Experience-dependent adaptation of the spatial generalization of human motor adaptation. Advances in Computational Motor Vol. III (2004). PDF