Dr Angus John Cathcart McMorland

PhD, BTech(Biomed Science)

Research | Current

My research exists at the nexus of movement neuroscience, biomechanics, computational neuroscience and modelling, and biomedical engineering. I am interested in the fundamental physiology of mechanisms by which the brain controls movement, how those processes as impaired in motor disorders such as stroke, and how motor disabilities can be alleviated through engineering of rehabilitative or chronic assistive devices.

Postgraduate supervision

I have funding for two PhD students to work on computational modelling of the motor control system, integrated with BabyX and the Soul Machines software platform (for PhD student with computer science/engineering science and/or systems neuroscience background)

Additionally, I am looking for students for projects in the following areas:

  • Inertial sensing of infant movements for prediction of cerebral palsy (for Masters or PhD student, with clinical/exercise science/physiology/medical background)
  • Constructing a bird-brain-machine interface to understand circuitry associated with singing (for Honours, Masters, or PhD student with biomedical science/engineering background)

I am always interested in talking with potential post-graduate students. If you are interested in doing post-graduate study related to any of the areas of research described above, please get in touch.

Current students
Pablo Ortega-Auriol - Interfacing with muscle control after stroke for assistive devices (Exercise Sciences, PhD)
Matthew Ward - Probing cortical representations of muscle synergies (Exercise Sciences, Honours)

Past students
James Cooper - Effect of instruction on exploratory movement distributions (SES, UG research project)
Kate Voss - Effect of ankle strength training on balance after stroke (SES, UG research project)
Mi Jung Jeon - Effect of ankle strength training on post-stroke gait (SES, Masters)
Sheena Sharma - Gait initiation after stroke (Northwestern U, PhD)


IT representative (Exercise Sciences)

Committees/Professional groups/Services

I am the IT Representative for the Exercise Sciences department.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Suway, S. B., Orellana, J., McMorland, A. J. C., Fraser, G. W., Liu, Z., Velliste, M., ... Schwartz, A. B. (2017). Temporally Segmented Directionality in the Motor Cortex. Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), 1-14. 10.1093/cercor/bhx133
  • MacDonald, H. J., McMorland, A. J. C., Stinear, C. M., Coxon, J. P., & Byblow, W. D. (2017). An Activation Threshold Model for Response Inhibition. PLOS ONE, 12 (1), e0169320-e0169320. 10.1371/journal.pone.0169320
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Cathy Stinear, Winston Byblow
  • McMorland, A. J. C., Runnalls, K. D., & Byblow, W. D. (2015). A neuroanatomical framework for upper limb synergies after stroke. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 910.3389/fnhum.2015.00082
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Winston Byblow
  • Velliste, M., Kennedy, S. D., Schwartz, A. B., Whitford, A. S., Sohn, J.-W., & McMorland, A. J. C. (2014). Motor cortical correlates of arm resting in the context of a reaching task and implications for prosthetic control. J Neurosci, 34 (17), 6011-6022. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3520-13.2014
  • Collinger, J. L., Kryger, M. A., Barbara, R., Betler, T., Bowsher, K., Brown, E. H. P., ... Gaunt, R. A. (2014). Collaborative approach in the development of high-performance brain-computer interfaces for a neuroprosthetic arm: Translation from animal models to human control. Clinical and Translational Science, 7 (1), 52-59. 10.1111/cts.12086
  • Tyler-Kabara, E. C., Collinger, J., Wodlinger, B., Downey, J., Wang, W., Weber, D., ... Schwartz, A. (2013). 10 Degree-Of-Freedom Neuroprosthetic Control By An Individual With Tetraplegia. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American-Association-of-Neurological-Surgeons (AANS), New Orleans, LA. 28 April - 1 May 2013. JOURNAL OF NEUROSURGERY. (pp. 1).
  • McMorland, A. J. C., & Velliste, M. (2013). Baseplate for two-stage cranial mounting of BMI connectors. Journal of Neural Engineering, 10 (3).10.1088/1741-2560/10/3/034001
  • Collinger, J. L., Wodlinger, B., Downey, J. E., Wang, W., Tyler-Kabara, E. C., Weber, D. J., ... Schwartz, A. B. (2013). High-performance neuroprosthetic control by an individual with tetraplegia. The Lancet, 381 (9866), 557-564. 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61816-9


Contact details

Primary location

TAMAKI BUILDING 731 - Bldg 731
Level 3, Room 331
New Zealand

Social links

Web links