Raviraj Nataraj

Assistant Professor

School: School of Engineering and Science

Department: Biomedical Engineering

Building: Altorfer

Room: 212

Phone: (201) 216-3555

Fax: (201) 216-8196

Email: rnataraj@stevens.edu

Website

Research

Dr. Raviraj Nataraj's research specializes in control systems for better integration between users and assistive or rehabilitative devices for better movement. His laboratory is creating instrumented wearables and virtual reality environments to leverage sensory feedback and cognitive factors in training better movement function. Clinical solutions are being developed for persons with neurotraumas including spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and amputation. Restorative devices of interest include sensorimotor prostheses and powered exoskeletons.

General Information

Dr. Nataraj has graduate degrees in Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering (Case Western Reserve University, Stanford University) and extensive experience working in clinical institutions (Cleveland VAMC, Cleveland Clinic). He has expertise in deploying real-time control of neuroprostheses and powered orthoses to restore movement function. His publications span biomechanical simulations, advancements in understanding normative and pathological motor control, and the creation of devices with computerized interfaces to restore or train better movement control.

Experience

Assistant Professor, Stevens Institute of Technology (Fall of 2016 - current)

Tenure-track in Department of Biomedical Engineering
Director of Movement Control Rehabilitation (MOCORE) Laboratory (http://www.mocorelab.com/)

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Cleveland Clinic (2016)
- Investigating user perception and function of multisensory hand prostheses for more natural control following upper-limb amputation

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Cleveland State University (2015 - 2016)
- Identifying optimal control models for gait with implications for powered exoskeletons augmenting walking performance

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Louis Stokes VA Medical Center (2014 - 2015)
- Developing feedback control systems for advanced standing function at leaning postures to augment functional reaching workspace

Postdoctoral Researcher, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation (2011 - 2013)
- Investigating functional biomechanics of the hand including implications of carpal tunnel syndrome;
- Developing advanced methodology to measure digit kinematics and kinetics during dexterous hand activities;
- Examining the effects of visual feedback and compliance on pinching mechanics

Ph.D. Candidate, Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University (2005 - 2010)
- Developed feedback control system for standing balance using functional neuromuscular stimulation following spinal cord injury

Institutional Service
  • Graduate BMES Chair
  • UGCC Member
  • Stevens Center for Neuromechanics (C4N) Member
  • Institutional Review Board Member
  • BME-PhD Program Application Review Member
  • Stevens Graduate Open House (BME representative) Member
  • External Advisory Board Member
  • Guest Lectures for BME courses Member
  • Department Seminar Organization Committee Chair
  • Stevens Admitted Student Weekend Member
  • Dean's Faculty Advisory Council Member
  • BME PhD recruitment program Member
  • BME Faculty Search Committee (2 T/TT positions) Member
  • BME Lecturer Search Committee (1 position) Member
  • BME-PhD Curriculum Committee Member
  • Faculty Search Committee Member
  • Faculty Search Committee for 1 lecturer position Chair
  • Faculty Search Committee for 2 T/TT positions Chair
  • Faculty Retreat - PhD Session Chair
  • SES PhD Task Force Member
Professional Service
  • Frontiers of Medical Engineering Associate Editor
  • Frontiers of Rehabilitation Science Special Topics Editor
  • The National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) for SCIMS Review Panelist
  • Biomedical Signal Processing and Control, IEEE TNSRE, Frontiers in Psychology Journal Reviewer for Multiple Journals
  • Scientific Reports, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, IEEE TNSRE Journal Reviewer for Multiple Journals
  • The National Institute on Disability Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) Review Panelist
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Review Panelist
  • Journal of Clinical Medicine Reviewer
  • MOCO (Movement and Computing) Community Conference Abstract Reviewer
  • IEEE Biorob Abstract Reviewer
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Reviewer
  • BMES Reviewer
  • PLOS ONE Guest Academic Editor for PLOS ONE
  • Scientific Reports Reviewer
  • IEEE Mechatronics Reviewer
  • Frontiers Bioengineering Assigned Editor
  • Journal of Biomechanics Reviewer
Appointments

- Stevens IRB Committee
- Dean's Faculty Advisory Committee

Honors and Awards

CWRU President Scholarship
Case Alumni Scholarship
Stanford Mechanical Engineering Department Fellowship
Tau Beta Pi
Golden Key Honor Society
NSF-IGERT PhD Fellowship
NIH CWRU-BME Departmental Training Grant
VA Rehabilitation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
NIH T32 Musculoskeletal Research Postdoctoral Fellowship
Senior Membership to IEEE

Professional Societies
  • ASEE – American Society of Engineering Education Member
  • ASB – American Society of Biomechanics Member
  • IEEE (Senior Membership) – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Member
  • BMES – Biomedical Engineering Society Member
  • SfN – Society for Neuroscience Member
  • SAA – Stanford Alumni Association Member
  • NCM – Society for Neural Control of Movement Member
  • ASME – American Society of Mechanical Engineers Member
Grants, Contracts, and Funds

New Jersey Health Foundation (PC 53-19): "Agency-based Virtual Reality Toolkit for Movement Rehabilitation" (Role: PI)
Department of Veterans Affairs (I21 RX003582-01): "Cognitive-based Rehabilitation Platform of Hand Grasp after Spinal Cord Injury using Virtual Reality and Instrumented Wearables" (Role: PI)

Patents and Inventions

Provisional Patent: "Cognition Glove", 199386/307058-00080 (2/26/21)

Selected Publications
Book Chapter
  1. Nataraj, R.; Sanford, S.; Liu, M.; Walsh, K.; Wilder, S.; Santo, A.; Hollinger, D. (2020). Cognitive and Physiological Intent for the Adaptation of Motor Prostheses. Advances in Motor Neuroprostheses (pp. 123--153). Springer, Cham.
  2. Nataraj, R. (2018). Optimizing User Integration for Individualized Rehabilitation. Biomimetic Prosthetics. InTech.
Conference Proceeding
  1. Liu, M.; Wilder, S.; Sanford, S.; Nataraj, R. (2020). Inducing Cognition of Secure Grasp and Agency to Accelerate Motor Rehabilitation from an Instrumented Glove. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Movement and Computing (pp. 1--4).
  2. Sanford, S.; Liu, M.; Selvaggi, T.; Nataraj, R. (2020). The Effects of Visual Feedback Complexity on Training the Two-Legged Squat Exercise. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Movement and Computing (pp. 1--4).
  3. Burns, M.; Zavoda, Z.; Nataraj, R.; Pochiraju, K.; Vinjamuri, R. (2020). HERCULES: A Three Degree-of-Freedom Pneumatic Upper Limb Exoskeleton for Stroke Rehabilitation (pp. 4959-4962). 42nd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (EMBC), Montreal, QC, Canada,.
  4. Burns, M. K.; Stika, J.; Patel, V.; Pei, D.; Nataraj, R.; Vinjamuri, R. (2020). Lateralization and Model Transference in a Bilateral Cursor Task. 2020 42nd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine \& Biology Society (EMBC) (pp. 3240--3243).
  5. Nataraj, R. (2013). Synergistic control of fingertip force directions during precision pinch. The 6th WACBE World Congress on Bioengineering, At Beijing, China.
  6. Nataraj, R.; Audu, M. L.; Kirsch, R. F.; Triolo, R. J. (2007). Artificial Neural Network Control of Standing Maintenance Using Functional Electrical Stimulation following Spinal Cord Injury. The 12th Annual Conference of the International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society,.
  7. Nataraj, R.; Audu, M. L.; Kirsch, R. F.; Triolo, R. J. (2007). Control System Development for Automatic Standing Balance using Functional Neuromuscular Stimulation (FNS) Following Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). The 31st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics.
  8. Audu, M. L.; Nataraj, R.; Kirsch, R. F.; Triolo, R. J. (2007). Dynamic Computer Optimization for Standing Balance and Control of Postural Sway after Spinal Cord Injury. The 12th Annual Conference of the International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society,.
Journal Article
  1. Nataraj, R.; Sanford, S.; Liu, M.; Harel, N. Y. (2022). Hand dominance in the performance and perceptions of virtual reach control.. Acta psychologica (vol. 223, pp. 103494).
  2. Walsh, K. A.; Sanford, S. P.; Collins, B. D.; Harel, N. Y.; Nataraj, R. (2021). Performance potential of classical machine learning and deep learning classifiers for isometric upper-body myoelectric control of direction in virtual reality with reduced muscle inputs. Biomedical Signal Processing and Control (vol. 66, pp. 102487). Elsevier.
  3. Liu, M.; Wilder, S.; Sanford, S.; Saleh, S.; Harel, N. Y.; Nataraj, R. (2021). Training with Agency-Inspired Feedback from an Instrumented Glove to Improve Functional Grasp Performance. Sensors (4 ed., vol. 21, pp. 1173). Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute.
  4. Nataraj, R.; Sanford, S. (2021). Control Modification of Grasp Force Covaries Agency and Performance on Rigid and Compliant Surfaces. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology (vol. 8, pp. 574006). Frontiers.
  5. Zhang, N.; Li , K.; Li , G.; Nataraj, R.; Wei, N. (2021). Multiplex Recurrence Network Analysis of Inter-Muscular Coordination During Sustained Grip and Pinch Contractions at Different Force Levels.. IEEE transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering : a publication of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (vol. 29, pp. 2055-2066).
  6. Sanford, S.; Liu, M.; Nataraj, R. (2021). Concurrent Continuous Versus Bandwidth Visual Feedback With Varying Body Representation for the 2-Legged Squat Exercise. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation (aop ed., vol. 30, pp. 794-803). Human Kinetics.
  7. Nataraj, R.; Hollinger, D.; Liu, M.; Shah, A. (2020). Disproportionate positive feedback facilitates sense of agency and performance for a reaching movement task with a virtual hand. Plos one (5 ed., vol. 15, pp. e0233175). Public Library of Science San Francisco, CA USA.
  8. Nataraj, R.; Sanford, S.; Shah, A.; Liu, M. (2020). Agency and Performance of Reach-to-Grasp With Modified Control of a Virtual Hand: Implications for Rehabilitation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (vol. 14, pp. 126). Frontiers Media SA.
  9. Sanford, S.; Liu, M.; Selvaggi, T.; Nataraj, R. (2020). Effects of Visual Feedback Complexity on the Performance of a Movement Task for Rehabilitation. Journal of Motor Behavior (2 ed., vol. 53, pp. 243-257). Routledge.
  10. Schofield, J. S.; Shell, C. E.; Thumser, Z. C.; Beckler, D. T.; Nataraj, R.; Marasco, P. D. (2019). Characterization of the Sense of Agency over the Actions of Neural-machine Interface-operated Prostheses. JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) (143 ed., pp. e58702).
  11. Marasco, P. D.; Hebert, J. S.; Sensinger, J. W.; Shell, C. E.; Schofield, J. S.; Thumser, Z. C.; Nataraj, R.; Beckler, D. T.; Dawson, M. R.; Blustein, D. H.; others (2018). Illusory movement perception improves motor control for prosthetic hands. Science translational medicine (432 ed., vol. 10). American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  12. Nataraj, R.; van den Bogert, Antonie J (2017). Simulation analysis of linear quadratic regulator control of sagittal-plane human walking—implications for exoskeletons. Journal of biomechanical engineering (10 ed., vol. 139). American Society of Mechanical Engineers Digital Collection.
  13. Nataraj, R.; Audu, M. L.; Triolo, R. J. (2017). Restoring standing capabilities with feedback control of functional neuromuscular stimulation following spinal cord injury. Medical engineering \& physics (vol. 42, pp. 13--25). Elsevier.
  14. Nataraj, R.; Audu, M. L.; Triolo, R. J. (2016). Simulating the restoration of standing balance at leaning postures with functional neuromuscular stimulation following spinal cord injury. Medical \& biological engineering \& computing (1 ed., vol. 54, pp. 163--176). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
  15. Nataraj, R.; Audu, M. L.; Li, Z. (2015). Digit mechanics in relation to endpoint compliance during precision pinch. Journal of biomechanics (4 ed., vol. 48, pp. 672--680). Elsevier.
  16. Nataraj, R.; Li, Z. (2015). Integration of marker and force data to compute three-dimensional joint moments of the thumb and index finger digits during pinch. Computer methods in biomechanics and biomedical engineering (6 ed., vol. 18, pp. 592--606). Taylor \& Francis.
  17. Nataraj, R.; Audu, M. L.; Triolo, R. J. (2014). Modified Newton-Raphson method to tune feedback gains of control system for standing by functional neuromuscular stimulation following spinal cord injury. Applied bionics and biomechanics (4 ed., vol. 11, pp. 169--174). IOS Press.
  18. Nataraj, R.; Pasluosta, C.; Li, Z. (2014). Online kinematic regulation by visual feedback for grasp versus transport during reach-to-pinch. Human movement science (vol. 36, pp. 134--153). North-Holland.
  19. Nataraj, R.; Evans, P. J.; Seitz, Jr, W. H.; Li , Z. M. (2014). Pathokinematics of precision pinch movement associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.. Journal of orthopaedic research : official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society (6 ed., vol. 32, pp. 786-92).
  20. Nataraj, R.; Evans, P. J.; Seitz, Jr, W. H.; Li, Z. (2014). Effects of carpal tunnel syndrome on reach-to-pinch performance. PLoS One (3 ed., vol. 9, pp. e92063). Public Library of Science.
  21. Audu, M. L.; Gartman, S. J.; Nataraj, R.; Triolo, R. J. (2014). Posture-dependent control of stimulation in standing neuroprosthesis: Simulation feasibility study. Journal of rehabilitation research and development (3 ed., vol. 51, pp. 481--496).
  22. Marquardt, T. L.; Nataraj, R.; Evans, P. J.; Seitz, W. H.; Li, Z. (2014). Carpal tunnel syndrome impairs thumb opposition and circumduction motion. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research\textregistered (8 ed., vol. 472, pp. 2526-33). Springer US.
  23. Li, K.; Nataraj, R.; Marquardt, T. L.; Li, Z. (2013). Directional coordination of thumb and finger forces during precision pinch. PloS one (11 ed., vol. 8, pp. e79400). Public Library of Science.
  24. Nataraj, R.; Li, Z. (2013). Robust identification of three-dimensional thumb and index finger kinematics with a minimal set of markers.. Journal of biomechanical engineering (9 ed., vol. 135, pp. 91002).
  25. Nataraj, R.; Audu, M. L.; Triolo, R. J. (2013). Center of mass acceleration feedback control of standing balance by functional neuromuscular stimulation against external postural perturbations.. IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering (1 ed., vol. 60, pp. 10-9).
  26. Nataraj, R.; Li, Z. (2012). Calculating thumb and index finger postures during pinch with a minimal marker set. American Society of Biomechanics.
  27. Shen, Z. L.; Mondello, T. A.; Nataraj, R.; Domalain, M. F.; Li , Z. M. (2012). A digit alignment device for kinematic analysis of the thumb and index finger.. Gait & posture (3 ed., vol. 36, pp. 643-5). Elsevier.
  28. Nataraj, R.; Audu, M. L.; Triolo, R. J. (2012). Comparing joint kinematics and center of mass acceleration as feedback for control of standing balance by functional neuromuscular stimulation.. Journal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation (1 ed., vol. 9, pp. 1--11). BioMed Central.
  29. Nataraj, R.; Audu, M. L.; Kirsch, R. F.; Triolo, R. J. (2012). Trunk acceleration for neuroprosthetic control of standing: A pilot study. Journal of applied biomechanics (1 ed., vol. 28, pp. 85-92). Human Kinetics, Inc..
  30. Nataraj, R.; Audu, M. L.; Kirsch, R. F.; Triolo, R. J. (2012). Center of mass acceleration feedback control for standing by functional neuromuscular stimulation: a simulation study.. Journal of rehabilitation research and development (2 ed., vol. 49, pp. 279-96). NIH Public Access.
  31. Nataraj, R.; Audu, M. L.; Triolo, R. J. (2012). Center of mass acceleration feedback control of functional neuromuscular stimulation for standing in presence of internal postural perturbations.. Journal of rehabilitation research and development (6 ed., vol. 49, pp. 889-911).
  32. Audu, M. L.; Nataraj, R.; Gartman, S. J.; Triolo, R. J. (2011). Posture shifting after spinal cord injury using functional neuromuscular stimulation--a computer simulation study.. Journal of biomechanics (9 ed., vol. 44, pp. 1639-45).
  33. Nataraj, R.; Audu, M. L.; Kirsch, R. F.; Triolo, R. J. (2010). Comprehensive joint feedback control for standing by functional neuromuscular stimulation-a simulation study.. IEEE transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering : a publication of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (6 ed., vol. 18, pp. 646-57). IEEE.
Student Master's Thesis
  1. Hollinger, D.; Nataraj, R. (2018). Acclerating neuromotor learning with reward feedback. Biomedical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology.
Courses

BME 556 - Advanced Biomechanics
BME 560 - Movement Control Rehabilitation
Support for: BME 306, BME 701, BME 800, BME 558