Journal Articles



Tune T; Ma W; Irving T; Sponberg S. “Nanometer-scale structure differences in the myofilament lattice spacing of two cockroach leg muscles correspond to their different functions” Journal of Experimental Biology.

Libby T; Chukwuake C; Sponberg S. “History-dependent perturbation response in limb muscle” Journal of Experimental Biology 2020 223: Jeb199018 doi: 10.1242/jeb.199018 (2020)

Gau J; Gravish N; Sponberg S.Indirect actuation reduces flight power requirements in Manduca sexta via elastic energy exchange J. R. Soc. Interface.1620190543  (2019)

Putney J; Conn R; Sponberg S. “Precise timing is ubiquitous, consistent, and coordinated across a comprehensive, spike-resolved flight motor program” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116 (52) 26951-26960; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1907513116 (2019)

Izaak D. Neveln; Amoolya Tirumalai; Simon Sponberg. “Information-based centralization of locomotion in animals and robots” Nature Communications. 10, 3655 (2019).

Matthews, M; Sponberg, S. “Hawkmoth flight in the unsteady wakes of flowers” Journal of Experimental Biology. 221(22): 179259. 2018.


Sober, S; Sponberg, S; Nemenman, I; Ting, L “Millisecond spike timing codes for motor control.” Trends in Neuroscience. 41(10): 644-648. 2018.

Sponberg, S. “The emergent physics of animal locomotion” Physics Today. 70(9): 34-40. 2017.

Stöckl, A.; Kihlström, K.; Chandler, G. S.; Sponberg, S. “Comparative analysis of flower tracking performance in three hawkmoth species reveals adaptations for dim light vision.” Phil. Trans Roy Soc. B – Special issue on Vision in Low Light Environments. 372(1717): 20160078-9. 2017.

Roth, E.; Hall, R. W.; Daniel, T. L., Sponberg, S. “The integration of parallel mechanosensory and visual pathways resolved through sensory conflict.PNAS. 133(45): 12832-12837. 2016.

Sponberg, S.; Dyhr, J. P.; Hall, R. W.; Daniel, T. L. “Luminance-dependent visual processing enables moth flight in low light.Science. 348:1245-1248. (2015).


Mongeau, J. M.; Sponberg, S.; Miller, J. P.; Full, R. J. "Sensory processing within antenna enables rapid implementation of feedback control for high-speed running maneuvers.J. Exp. Biology. 18(15):2344–54. (2015).

Sponberg, S.; Daniel, T. L.; Fairhall, A. L. “Dual dimensionality reduction reveals independent encoding of motor features in a muscle synergy for insect flight control
.PLOS Comp. Biology. 11(4):e1004168-23. (2015).

Cowan, N. J., Ankarali, M. M., Dyhr, J. P., Madhav, M. S., Roth, E., Sefati, S., Sponberg, S.; Stamper, S. A.; Fortune, E. S.; Daniel, T. L. “Feedback Control as a Framework for Understanding Tradeoffs in Biology.Int. Comp. Biol. 54(2): 223-237. (2014).

Roth, E.*; Sponberg, S.*; Cowan, N. J. “A comparative approach to closed-loop computation.Curr Opin Neurobio, 25: 54-62. (2014).  (* denotes equal contributions).

Sponberg, S. and Daniel, T.L. “Abdicating power for control using precision timing strategies to modulate function of power muscles.Proc Roy Soc B. 279(1744):3958-66. (2012).


George, N.T.; Sponberg, S., Daniel, T.L. “Temperature gradients drive mechanical energy gradients in the flight muscle of Manduca sexta.J. Exp. Biology, 215: 471-479. (2012). JEB outstanding paper of the year for 2012.

Pyenson, N; Sponberg, S. “Reconstructing body size in extinct crown Cetacea using multivariate independent contrasts and tests from the fossil record.J. Mammalian Evolution. 18(4): 269–288. (2011).

Sponberg, S; Libby, T.; Mullens, C.; Full R. J. “Shifts in a single muscle’s control potential of body dynamics are determined by mechanical feedback.Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. B. 366(1570): 1606-1620. (2011).

Sponberg, S; Spence, A.J.; Mullens, C.; Full R. J. “A single muscle’s multifunctional control potential of body dynamics for postural control and running.Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. B. 366(1570): 1592-1605. (2011).

Gravish, N.; Wilkinson, M.; Sponberg, S.; Parness, A.; Esparza, N.; Soto, D.; Yamaguchi, T.; Broide, M.; Cutkosky, M.; Creton, C.; Autumn, K. “Rate dependent frictional adhesion in natural and synthetic gecko setae.J. Royal Society: Interface. 7(43): 259-269. (2010).


Lee, J.; Sponberg, S.; Loh, O.; Lamperski, A.; Full, R. J.; Cowan, N. “Templates and anchors for antenna-based wall following in cockroaches and robots.IEEE Trans. Robotics (Regular Paper): Bio-inspired robotics special issue. 24(1): 130-143. (2008).

Sponberg, S.; Full R. J. “Neuromechanical response of musculo-skeletal structures in cockroaches during rapid running on rough terrain.J. Exp. Biology, 211: 433-446. (2008).

Spence, A.J.; Neeves, K.; Murphy, D.; Sponberg, S.; Land, B.R.; Hoy, R.R. and Isaacson, M. “Flexible multielectrodes can resolve multiple muscles in an insect appendage.J Neuroscience Methods, 159(1): 116-124. (2007).

Autumn, K.; Sitti, M.; Liang, Y.A.; Peattie, A.M.; Hansen, W.R.; Sponberg, S.; Kenny, T.W.; Fearing, R.; Israelachvili, J.N.; Full, R.J.  “Evidence for van der Waals adhesion in gecko setae.PNAS, 99 (19): 12252-12256. [Cover Article]. (2002).

Conference Proceedings


Full, R. J. and Sponberg, S. “The reciprocal relationships amongst research, teaching, and learning.Proceedings of the 3rd Annual Reinvention Convention: Transforming the Culture: Undergraduate Education and the Multiple Functions of the Research University. (2007).