Gary Bruening
Doctoral Candidate • Research Assistant
Integrative Physiology

Research Interests

My research focuses on evaluating effort in arm reaching movements. Using a robotic arm manipulandum specifally designed for these tasks, we can alter the effort of reaching by adding inertial or resistive forces as subjects make reaching movements. I use objective measures of effort via metabolic cost and computational modeling techniques to evaluate how effort is represented in arm reaching movements.

My main research projects are determining the effects of mass on the metabolic cost of reaching and how this affects preferred reachign decisions, how we can use a utility model to predict these changes, and then creating a biomechanical model of the arm to esimate these effort costs using common neuromechanical proxies. Additionally, I am studying how confidence in rewarding outcomes effects movement decisions.


Masters of Science, Integrative Phyisiology, University of Colorado Boulder, 2017
Bachelors of Science, Biomedical Engineering, University of Arizona, 2015


G. Bruening and A. Ahmed, Metabolic cost of arm reaching. In prep.

G. Bruening and A. Ahmed, How well do neuromechanical effort proxies represent the metabolic cost of arm reaching? In prep.