James M Finley

Assistant Professor
Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy
Biomedical Engineering
Neuroscience Graduate Program

James M Finley

Research Topics

  • Locomotor adaptation and learning
  • Optimality principles underlying the control of healthy and pathological gait
  • Elucidating cortical contributions to human gait
  • Developing virtual-reality based approaches for neurorehabilitation

Research Overview

Dr. Finley directs the Locomotor Control Laboratory where he investigates how locomotion is controlled and adapted in both the healthy and injured neuromuscular system. Dr. Finley's lab develops theoretical models and experiments based on principles of neuroscience, biomechanics, and exercise physiology to identify the factors that guide learning and rehabilitation. Ultimately, the goal of his work is to design novel and effective interventions to improve locomotor control in individuals with damage to the nervous system.

Contact Information

Mailing Address 1540 E. Alcazar St, CHP 155
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Office Location CHP 148C
Office Phone (323) 442-4837
Lab Location CHP G36
Lab Phone 3234420229
Office Location CHP 148C



  • Florida A&M University, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, 2004
  • Northwestern University, Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, 2010
  • Johns Hopkins University, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Neuroscience, 2013

Selected Publications

View a complete PubMed search
  • Sanchez N, Finley JM. Individual Differences in Locomotor Function Predict the Capacity to Reduce Asymmetry and Modify the Energetic Cost of Walking Poststroke. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2018 Aug;32(8):701-713. PubMed
  • Liu C, Macedo L, Finley JM. Conservation of Reactive Stabilization Strategies in
    the Presence of Step Length Asymmetries During Walking. Front Hum Neurosci.
    2018 Jun 27;12:251.
  • Kim A, Kretch KS, Zhou Z, Finley JM. The quality of visual information about
    the lower extremities influences visuomotor coordination during virtual obstacle 
    negotiation. J Neurophysiol. 2018 Aug 1;120(2):839-847.
  • Sanchez N, Park S, Finley JM. Evidence of Energetic Optimization during
    Adaptation Differs for Metabolic, Mechanical, and Perceptual Estimates of
    Energetic Cost. Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 9;7(1):7682.
  • Finley JM. Splitting the difference: New insights into distinguishing features
    of human versus feline models of adaptive locomotor control. J Physiol. 2017 Sep 
  • Kim A, Darakjian N, Finley JM. Walking in fully immersive virtual
    environments: an evaluation of potential adverse effects in older adults and
    individuals with Parkinson's disease. J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2017 Feb 21;14(1):16.
  • Finley JM, Bastian AJ. Associations Between Foot Placement Asymmetries and Metabolic Cost of Transport in Hemiparetic Gait. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2017 Feb;31(2):168-177. PubMed
  • Finley JM, Long A, Bastian AJ, Torres-Oviedo G. Spatial and Temporal Control Contribute to Step Length Asymmetry During Split-Belt Adaptation and Hemiparetic Gait. Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2015 Sep;29(8):786-95. PubMed
  • Finley JM, Statton MA, Bastian AJ. A novel optic flow pattern speeds
    split-belt locomotor adaptation. J Neurophysiol. 2014 Mar;111(5):969-76.
  • Finley JM, Bastian AJ, Gottschall JS. Learning to be economical: the energy
    cost of walking tracks motor adaptation. J Physiol. 2013 Feb 15;591(4):1081-95.