Madhur Mangalam

Madhur Mangalam
University of Nebraska at Omaha | UN Omaha · Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility (NBCF)

Doctor of Philosophy
Research Associate

About

106
Publications
21,360
Reads
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554
Citations
Introduction
I wake up every day an imbecile excited by the chance of learning throughout the day and hopefully going to bed a smarter me. All in the hope of one day being smart enough to have an army of minions. The twin goals of my research are to knit together the multiscale study of the mind, behavior, and brain in complex movement coordination tasks using statistical physics formalisms on the one hand and use statistical learning to identify movement signatures of health/disease states on the other.
Additional affiliations
January 2019 - July 2022
Northeastern University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2014 - December 2018
University of Georgia
Position
  • PhD Student
July 2012 - July 2014
University of Mysore
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
August 2007 - May 2012

Publications

Publications (106)
Article
Animals (including humans) use objects to solve problems or accomplish goals in diverse ways. Sometimes while doing so they achieve a mechanical effect on a target object or surface with a grasped object. We call this class of behavior “tooling,” to signal a shift toward understanding this behavior by reference to action rather than by reference to...
Article
Full-text available
The transition from occasional to obligate bipedalism is a milestone in human evolution. However, because the fossil record is fragmentary and reconstructing behaviour from fossils is difficult, changes in the motor control strategies that accompanied this transition remain unknown. Quadrupedal primates that adopt a bipedal stance while using percu...
Article
Full-text available
Effortful touch by the hand is essential to engaging with and perceiving properties of objects. The temporal structure of whole-body coordination must reflect the prospective control that provides for both the engagement with and perception of properties of the hefted objects. In the present study, we found signatures of multifractality in the time...
Article
Full-text available
Turing inspired a computer metaphor of the mind and brain that has been handy and has spawned decades of empirical investigation, but he did much more and offered behavioral and cognitive sciences another metaphor—that of the cascade. The time has come to confront Turing’s cascading instability, which suggests a geometrical framework driven by powe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ergodicity breaking is a challenge for biological and psychological sciences. Ergodicity is a necessary condition for linear causal modeling. Long-range correlations and non-Gaussianity characterizing various biological and psychological measurements break ergodicity routinely, threatening our capacity for causal modeling. Long-range correlations (...
Conference Paper
The effectiveness of human-robot interactions critically depends on the success of computational efforts to emulate human inference of intent, anticipation of action, and coordination of movement. To this end, we developed two models that leverage a well described feature of human movement: Gaussian-shaped submovements in velocity profiles, to act...
Preprint
Full-text available
After just months of simulated training, on January 19, 2019, a 23-year-old E-sports pro-gamer, Enzo Bonito, took to the racetrack and beat Lucas di Grassi, a Formula E and ex-Formula 1 driver with decades of real-world racing experience. This event raised the possibility that practicing in virtual reality can be surprisingly effective for acquirin...
Preprint
Full-text available
The brain-as-computer metaphor has anchored the professed computational nature of mind, wresting it down from the intangible logic of Platonic philosophy to a material basis for empirical science. However, as with many long-lasting metaphors in science, the computer metaphor has been explored and stretched long enough to reveal its boundaries. Thes...
Article
Full-text available
The creativity and emergence of biological and psychological behavior tend to be nonlinear—biological and psychological measures contain degrees of irregularity. The linear model might fail to reduce these measurements to a sum of independent random factors (yielding a stable mean for the measurement), implying nonlinear changes over time. The pres...
Preprint
Full-text available
Turing inspired a computer metaphor of the mind and brain that has been handy and has spawned decades of empirical investigation, but he did much more and offered behavioral and cognitive sciences another metaphor—that of the cascade. The time has come to confront Turing’s cascading instability, which suggests a geometrical framework driven by powe...
Article
Full-text available
The stochastic processes underlying the growth and stability of biological and psychological systems reveal themselves when far from equilibrium. Far from equilibrium, nonergodicity reigns. Nonergodicity implies that the average outcome for a group/ensemble (i.e., of representative organisms/minds) is not necessarily a reliable estimate of the aver...
Preprint
Full-text available
The stochastic processes underlying the growth and stability of biological and psychological systems reveal themselves when far from equilibrium. Far from equilibrium, nonergodicity reigns. Nonergodicity implies that the average outcome for a group/ensemble (i.e., of representative organisms/minds) is not necessarily a reliable estimate of the aver...
Article
Full-text available
Among primates, prehensile/semi-prehensile tails have evolved independently in the families Atelidae and Cebidae of the infraorder Platyrrhini (Neotropical monkeys). Prehensile/semi-prehensile tails facilitate maintenance of stability during locomotion on thin, flexible branches and while reaching for food on challenging substrates. How a prehensil...
Article
Full-text available
Control of reach-to-grasp movements for deft and robust interactions with objects requires rapid sensorimotor updating that enables online adjustments to changing external goals (e.g., perturbations or instability of objects we interact with). Rarely do we appreciate the remarkable coordination in reach-to-grasp, until control becomes impaired by n...
Preprint
Full-text available
Collaborative research that provides unprecedented opportunities to individuals with various capacities to contribute to scientific knowledge also encourages the practice of inflating credentials by serving as coauthors on papers, frequently with little to no contribution. A more systematic and consistent methodology for quantifying author contribu...
Article
Full-text available
The ubiquity of tool use in human life has generated multiple lines of scientific and philosophical investigation to understand the development and expression of humans’ engagement with tools and its relation to other dimensions of human experience. However, existing literature on tool use faces several epistemological challenges in which the same...
Preprint
Full-text available
We see the computer metaphor of the brain as a holdover from premodern scientific traditions hoping to anchor the mind’s computational ability in a material anatomical part. Despite having prompted decades of valuable empirical insights, the computer metaphor has likely outgrown its usefulness. Brains are context-sensitive and capable of adapting t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Among primates, prehensile/semi-prehensile tails have evolved independently in the families Atelidae and Cebidae of the infraorder Platyrrhini (Neotropical monkeys). Prehensile/semi-prehensile tails facilitate maintenance of stability during locomotion on thin, flexible branches and while reaching for food on challenging substrates. How a prehensil...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ubiquity of tool use in human life has generated multiple lines of scientific and philosophical investigation to understand the development and expression of humans’ engagement with tools and its relation to other dimensions of human experience. However, existing literature on tool use faces several epistemological challenges in which the same...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated interest in virtual reality (VR) for education, entertainment, telerehabilitation, and skills training. As the frequency and duration of VR engagement increases — the number of people in the United States using VR at least once per month is forecasted to exceed 95 million — it is critical to understand how VR e...
Article
Full-text available
The success of psychology and neuroscience depends on making causal inferences about a phenomenon that generalizes to new individuals in the long run. Typically, studies infer the cause from statistical tests conducted on aggregated data from a random sample to infer the cause. This policy assumes that the study phenomenon is ‘ergodic.’ Ergodicity...
Article
Full-text available
Speech perception and memory for speech require active engagement. Gestural theories have emphasized mainly the effect of speaker's movements on speech perception. They fail to address the effects of listener movement, focusing on communication as a boundary condition constraining movement among interlocutors. The present work attempts to break new...
Article
Full-text available
The embodied theory of tooling predicts that individuals accommodate their actions to manage the degrees of freedom (DoFs) in the body-plus-object system when using a grasped object as a tool. We tested predictions from this theory by studying how tufted capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.) and humans (Homo sapiens) used a hoe to retrieve a token. The h...
Article
Full-text available
Simpson’s paradox — also called the reversal paradox and amalgamation paradox — is a statistical phenomenon in which an apparent paradox arises because aggregate data at the group level (or at the level of a set of groups) can support a conclusion that is either not observed or is opposite from that suggested by the same data before aggregation at...
Article
Full-text available
Technological advancements and increased access have prompted the adoption of head mounted display-based virtual reality for neuroscientific research, manual skill training, and neurological rehabilitation. Applications that focus on manual interaction within the virtual environment, especially haptic-free virtual reality, critically depend on virt...
Preprint
Full-text available
The creativity and emergence of biological and psychological behavior tend to be nonlinear—biological and psychological measures contain degrees of irregularity. The linear model might fail to reduce these measurements to a sum of independent random factors (yielding a stable mean for the measurement), implying nonlinear changes over time. The pres...
Article
Full-text available
Virtual reality (VR) has garnered much interest as a training environment for motor skill acquisition, including for neurological rehabilitation of upper extremities. While the focus has been on gross upper limb motion, VR applications that involve reaching for, and interacting with, virtual objects are growing. The absence of true haptics in VR wh...
Article
Full-text available
When humans handle a tool, such as a tennis racket or hammer, for the first time, they often wield it to determine its inertial properties. The mechanisms that contribute to perception of inertial properties are not fully understood. The present study’s goal was to investigate how proprioceptive afferents contribute to effortful perception of heavi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Speech perception and memory for speech require active engagement. Gestural theories have emphasized mainly the effect of the movements of the speaker on speech perception. They fail to address the effects of listener movement, focusing on communication as a boundary condition constraining movement among interlocutors. The present work attempts to...
Article
Full-text available
Quiet standing exhibits strongly intermittent variability that has inspired at least two interpretations. First, variability can be intermittent through the alternating engagement and disengagement of complementary control processes at distinct scales. A second and perhaps deeper way to interpret this intermittency is through the possibility that p...
Article
Full-text available
Modern biomedical, behavioral and psychological inference about cause-effect relationships respects an ergodic assumption, that is, that mean response of representative samples allow predictions about individual members of those samples. Recent empirical evidence in all of the same fields indicates systematic violations of the ergodic assumption. I...
Article
Many real-world tasks involve exploratory movements for the manipulation of objects with a wide range of physical properties. Historically, neurophysiological research has emphasized how force sensations and perceptions arise due to descending motor commands and ascending afferent feedback from proprioceptors. However, how force sensation and perce...
Article
Full-text available
Visually guided postural control emerges in response to task constraints. Task constraints generate physiological fluctuations that foster the exploration of available sensory information at many scales. Temporally correlated fluctuations quantified using fractal and multifractal metrics have been shown to carry perceptual information across the bo...
Article
Full-text available
The ‘quiet eye’ (QE) approach to visually-guided aiming behavior invests fully in perceptual information’s potential to organize coordinated action. Sports psychologists refer to QE as the stillness of the eyes during aiming tasks and increasingly into self- and externally-paced tasks. Amidst the ‘noisy’ fluctuations of the athlete’s body, quiet ey...
Article
Full-text available
Intermittency is a flexible control process entailing context-sensitive engagement with task constraints. The present work aims to situate the intermittency of dexterous behavior explicitly in multifractal modeling for non-Gaussian cascade processes. Multiscale probability density function (PDF) analysis of the center of pressure (CoP) fluctuations...
Article
Full-text available
Standing still and focusing on a visible target in front of us is a preamble to many coordinated behaviors (e.g., reaching an object). Hiding behind its apparent simplicity is a deep layering of texture at many scales. The task of standing still laces together activities at multiple scales: from ensuring that a few photoreceptors on the retina cove...
Article
Full-text available
Healthy human postural sway exhibits strong intermittency, reflecting a richly interactive foundation of postural control. From a linear perspective, intermittent fluctuations might be interpreted as engagement and disengagement of complementary control processes at distinct timescales or from a nonlinear perspective, as cascade-like interactions a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Intermittency is a flexible control process entailing context-sensitive engagement with task constraints. The present work aims to situate the intermittency of dexterous behavior explicitly in multifractal modeling for non-Gaussian cascade processes. Multiscale probability density function (PDF) analysis of the center of pressure (CoP) fluctuations...
Preprint
Full-text available
As a hallmark of dexterity, intermittency warrants explicit acknowledgment in models of dexterous behavior. However, intermittency poses a major challenge to modeling itself. The present work aims to situate investigation of intermittency on a firmer multifractal footing. In a previous study (Furmanek et al., 2020), multiscale probability density f...
Preprint
Full-text available
Modern biomedical, behavioral and psychological inference about cause-effect relationships respects an ergodic assumption, that is, that mean response of representative samples allow predictions about individual members of those samples. Recent empirical evidence in all of the same fields indicates systematic violations of the ergodic assumption. I...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ‘quiet eye’ (QE) approach to visually-guided aiming behavior invests fully in perceptual information's potential to organize coordinated action. Sports psychologists refer to QE as the stillness of the eyes during aiming tasks and increasingly into self- and externally-paced tasks. Amidst the ‘noisy’ fluctuations of the athlete’s body, quiet ey...
Preprint
Full-text available
Virtual reality (VR) has garnered much interest as a training environment for motor skill acquisition, including for neurological rehabilitation of upper extremities. While the focus has been on gross upper limb motion, VR applications that involve reaching for, and interacting with, virtual objects are growing. The absence of true haptics in VR wh...
Article
Full-text available
Povinelli’s (2000) studies with chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) reported in “Folk Physics for Apes” were firmly grounded in a Cartesian view of knowledge, which posits that humans use abstract concepts such as force, gravity, and shape to reason causally about events and plan our actions (with tools in the case of Folk Physics for Apes). Povinelli se...
Preprint
Full-text available
When humans handle a tool, such as a tennis racket or hammer, for the first time, they often wield it to determine its inertial properties, however, the mechanisms that contribute to perception of inertial properties are not fully understood. The goal of the present study was to investigate how proprioceptive afferents contribute to effortful perce...
Preprint
Full-text available
Standing still and focusing on a visible target in front of us is a preamble to many coordinated behaviors (e.g., reaching an object). Hiding behind its apparent simplicity is a deep layering of texture at many scales. The task of standing still laces together activities at multiple scales: from ensuring that a few photoreceptors on the retina cove...
Preprint
Full-text available
A growing consensus across otherwise disparate perspectives on perception and action is that visually guided postural control emerges from within task constraints. Task constraints generate physiological fluctuations across various parts of the body. These fluctuations foster exploration of the available sensory information. For instance, standard...
Article
Full-text available
Research into haptic perception typically concentrates on mechanoreceptors and their supporting neuronal processes. This focus risks ignoring crucial aspects of active perception. For instance, bodily movements influence the information available to mechanoreceptors, entailing that movement facilitates haptic perception. Effortful manual wielding o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Healthy human postural sway exhibits strong intermittency, reflecting a richly interactive foundation of postural control. From a linear perspective, intermittent fluctuations might be interpreted as engagement and disengagement of complementary control processes at distinct timescales or from a nonlinear perspective, as cascade-like interactions a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Quiet standing exhibits strongly intermittent variability reflecting a richly interactive foundation. This intermittency can be understood in various ways. First, variability can be intermittent through the engagement and disengagement of complementary control processes at distinct scales. A second and perhaps a deeper way to understand this interm...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research into haptic perception typically concentrates on mechanoreceptors and their supporting neuronal processes. This focus risks ignoring crucial aspects of active perception. For instance, bodily movements influence the information available to mechanoreceptors, entailing that movement facilitates haptic perception. Effortful manual wielding o...
Article
Full-text available
Adjustment of percussive movements to match the energetic requirements of the task serves as an index of skill in stone-knapping and nut-cracking. In this study, we compared strike-by-strike adjustment of percussive movements in expert bearded capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) and (novice and expert) humans cracking palm nuts (Astrocaryum spp....
Preprint
Full-text available
A long history of research has pointed to the importance of fractal fluctuations in physiology, but so far, the physiological evidence of fractal fluctuations has been piecemeal and without clues to bodywide integration. What remains unknown is how fractal fluctuations might interact across the body and how those interactions might support the coor...
Article
Full-text available
While reaching for a coffee cup, we are aware that the hand we see belongs to us and it moves at our will (reflecting our senses of ownership and agency, respectively), and that the cup is within our hand's reach rather than beyond it (i.e., in reachable space, RS, rather than in non-reachable space, NRS). Accepted psychological explanations of our...
Article
Illusory senses of ownership and agency (that the hand or effector that we see belongs to us and moves at our will, respectively) support the embodiment of prosthetic limbs, tele-operated surgical devices, and human-machine interfaces. We exposed forty-eight individuals to four different procedures known to elicit illusory ownership or agency over...
Article
Full-text available
The applied muscular effort to wield, hold, or balance an object shapes the medium by which action-relevant perceptual judgments (e.g., heaviness, length, width, and shape) are derived. Strikingly, the integrity of these judgments is retained over a range of exploratory conditions, a phenomenon known as perceptual invariance. For instance, judgment...
Article
Full-text available
Our ability to perceive properties of handheld objects (e.g., heaviness, orientation, length, width, and shape) by wielding via dynamic touch is crucial for tooling and other forms of object manipulation—activities that are the basis of much human experience. Here, we investigated how muscular effort mediates perception of heaviness and length via...