Jason J Kutch

Assistant Professor
Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy

Jason J Kutch

Research Topics

  • Neural mechanisms for muscle activation
  • Engineering of non-invasive systems to study human motor function
  • Neuromuscular disorders

Research Images

Cover: The fluctuations in fingertip force as the index finger pushes in different directions isometrically can be visualized as spaces filled with ellipsoids. These fluctuations contain interesting nonuniformities as the direction of voluntary force changes. Specifically, they contain strong clues about patterns of muscle activation and may indicate that index finger muscles are activated in flexible combinations by the central nervous system, rather than in stereotypic synergistic groupings. For details see Kutch JJ, Kuo AD, Bloch AM, and Rymer WZ. Endpoint Force Fluctuations Reveal Flexible Rather Than Synergistic Patterns of Muscle Cooperation. J Neurophysiol 100: 2455-2471, 2008. First published September 17, 2008; doi: 10.1152/jn.90274.2008.At the Dana & David Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center at USC, Dr. Kutch is currently looking at how changes in the brain might affect muscle contraction in patients with chronic pain. His study, ``Pathological insula connectivity and neural control of muscle in Chronic Prostatits/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CP/CPPS)'' may identify the neural circuitry that causes pelvic muscles to contract involuntarily during periods of stress. Studies have shown that CP/CPPS is the most frequent urological diagnosis for men under 50, with quality-of-life scores consistently lower than congestive heart failure, diabetes, and Crohn`s disease.  
Physical therapists are at the front lines treating this perplexing disorder. In collaboration with Daniel Kirages (left), Instructor of Clinical Physical Therapy at USC, Dr. Kutch recently received USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy funding for a pilot study, ``A critical evaluation of physical therapy for Chronic Prostatits/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CP/CPPS).''
Dr. Kutch's Brain.

Research Overview

The Applied Mathematical Physiology Laboratory (AMPL) was founded in 2011, and is directed by Jason J. Kutch, who received his Ph.D. in 2008 in a collaboration between the University of Michigan and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. The AMPL performs basic science and translational research focused on the neural mechanisms for muscle activation, engineering of non-invasive systems to study human motor function, and neuromuscular chronic pain disorders. Of particular interest to the lab are adaptive and maladaptive motor adaptations in individuals with chronic pain, and the brain mechanism of these adaptations.

Contact Information

Mailing Address 9006
Office Location CHP 155
Office Phone (323) 442-1760
Lab Location
Lab Phone
Fax (323) 442-1515
Office Location CHP 155



  • B.S.E. 2001 Mechanical Engineering - Princeton University
  • Ph.D. 2008 Applied Mathematics - University of Michigan

Selected Publications

View a complete PubMed searchView a complete Google Scholar search
  • Kutch JJ, Labus JS, Harris RE, Martucci KT, Farmer MA, Fenske S, Fling C, Ichesco E, Peltier S, Petre B, Guo W, Hou X, Stephens AJ, Mullins C, Clauw DJ, Mackey SC, Apkarian AV, Landis JR, Mayer EA. Resting-State Functional Connectivity Predicts Longitudinal Pain Symptom Change In Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome: A Mapp Network Study. Pain. 2017. PubMed PMID: 28328579.

    PubMed Link
  • Babikian S, Kanso E, Kutch JJ. Cortical activity predicts good variation in human motor output. Exp Brain Res. 2017;235(4):1139-47. PubMed PMID: 28161821.

    PubMed Link
  • Huang L, Kutch JJ, Ellingson BM, Martucci KT, Harris RE, Clauw DJ, Mackey S, Mayer EA, Schaeffer AJ, Apkarian AV, Farmer MA. Brain white matter changes associated with urological chronic pelvic pain syndrome: multisite neuroimaging from a MAPP case-control study. Pain. 2016;157(12):2782-91. PubMed PMID: 27842046; PMCID: PMC5117992.

    PubMed Link
  • Kutch JJ, Tu FF. Altered brain connectivity in dysmenorrhea: pain modulation and the motor cortex. Pain. 2016;157(1):5-6. PubMed PMID: 26683107; PMCID: PMC4941100. PubMed Link
  • Woodworth D, Mayer E, Leu K, Ashe-McNalley C, Naliboff BD, Labus JS, Tillisch K, Kutch JJ, Farmer MA, Apkarian AV, Johnson KA, Mackey SC, Ness TJ, Landis JR, Deutsch G, Harris RE, Clauw DJ, Mullins C, Ellingson BM. Unique Microstructural Changes in the Brain Associated with Urological Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (UCPPS) Revealed by Diffusion Tensor MRI, Super-Resolution Track Density Imaging, and Statistical Parameter Mapping: A MAPP Network Neuroimaging Study. PLoS One. 2015;10(10):e0140250. PubMed PMID: 26460744; PMCID: PMC4604194.

    PubMed Link
  • Rana M, Yani MS, Asavasopon S, Fisher BE, Kutch JJ. Brain Connectivity Associated with Muscle Synergies in Humans. J Neurosci. 2015;35(44):14708-16. PubMed PMID: 26538643; PMCID: PMC4635125.

    PubMed Link
  • Roll SC, Rana M, Sigward SM, Yani MS, Kirages DJ, Kutch JJ. Reliability of superficial male pelvic floor structural measurements using linear-array transperineal sonography. Ultrasound in medicine & biology. 2015;41(2):610-7. Epub 2014/12/03. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2014.09.008. PubMed PMID: 25444690; PMCID: PMC4297525.

    PubMed Link
  • Kutch JJ, Yani MS, Asavasopon S, Kirages DJ, Rana M, Cosand L, Labus JS, Kilpatrick LA, Ashe-McNalley C, Farmer MA, Johnson KA, Ness TJ, Deutsch G, Harris RE, Apkarian AV, Clauw DJ, Mackey SC, Mullins C, Mayer EA. Altered resting state neuromotor connectivity in men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: A MAPP: Research Network Neuroimaging Study. NeuroImage Clinical. 2015;8:493-502. PubMed PMID: 26106574; PMCID: PMC4474411.

    PubMed Link
  • Asavasopon S, Rana M, Kirages DJ, Yani MS, Fisher BE, Hwang DH, Lohman EB, Berk LS, Kutch JJ. Cortical activation associated with muscle synergies of the human male pelvic floor. J Neurosci. 2014;34(41):13811-8. PubMed PMID: 25297107; PMCID: PMC4188976.

    PubMed Link
  • Kilpatrick LA, Kutch JJ, Tillisch K, Naliboff BD, Labus JS, Jiang Z, Farmer MA, Apkarian AV, Mackey S, Martucci KT, Clauw DJ, Harris RE, Deutsch G, Ness TJ, Yang CC, Maravilla K, Mullins C, Mayer EA. Alterations in resting state oscillations and connectivity in sensory and motor networks in women with interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome. The Journal of urology. 2014;192(3):947-55. PubMed PMID: 24681331; PMCID: PMC4432915.

    PubMed Link