of Pittsburgh

Dr. Andrew B. Schwartz

Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology
Chair in Systems Neuroscience
E1440 BST
3500 Terrace St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

For patient inquiries, please contact:
Anita Srikameswaran, MD
SrikamAV (at)
TEL: (412)-647-3555


Dr. Schwartz received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1984 with a thesis entitled "Activity in the Deep Cerebellar Nuclei During Normal and Perturbed Locomotion". He then went on to a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he worked with Dr. Apostolos Georgopoulos, who was developing the concept of directional tuning and population-based movement representation in the motor cortex. While there, Schwartz was instrumental in developing the basis for three-dimensional trajectory representation in the motor cortex. In 1988, Dr. Schwartz began his independent research career at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. There, he developed a paradigm to explore the continuous cortical signals generated throughout volitional arm movements. This was done using monkeys trained to draw shapes while recording single-cell activity from their motor cortices. After developing the ability to capture a high fidelity representation of movement intention from the motor cortex, Schwartz teamed up with engineering colleagues at Arizona State University to develop cortical neural prosthetics. The work has progressed to the point that human subjects can now use these recorded signals to control motorized arm and hand prosthetics to feed themselves and perform other tasks of daily living. Schwartz moved from the Barrow Neurological Institute to the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego in 1995 and then to the University of Pittsburgh in 2002. In addition to the prosthetics work, he has continued to utilize the neural trajectory representation to better understand the transformation from intended to actual movement using motor illusions in a virtual reality environment.

Adjunct Appointments

Center for Neural Basis Cognition
Department of Bioengineering
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University


Neural recordings are made in monkeys to examine the cortical representation of perception and action, the cortical prosthetic control of arm movement, cortical prosthetic control of hand movement and the transformation between cortical and muscle activity (read more).