Jing Xu


Jing Xu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Georgia (UGA), and the director of the Cognition and Dexterity (CoDex) Laboratory and co-director of the Neurostimulation Laboratory at UGA. Her research strives to understand cognitive processes and neural mechanisms for human skill learning, and uncover biomarkers and factors for better rehabilitation strategies after neurological injuries. Her team employs behavioral, neurophysiology and imaging, and computational modeling approaches to answer these research questions.

Jing received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her PhD work focused on human motor control, memory, and categorization. In 2011, she joined the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins University for her post-doctoral research in a longitudinal study on acute stroke motor function recovery (The Study of Motor Learning and Acute Recovery Time Course in Stroke, SMARTS), tracking stroke patients’ upper extremity function and neurophysiology measures using TMS, fMRI and DTI for one-year period. Her fine-grained behavioral analysis combined with lesion analysis revealed separate biological systems supporting the recovery of hand strength and dexterity. In 2017, Jing became a faculty in the Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare at Johns Hopkins University. Her research focus was the human hand function and rehabilitation. She joined UGA Kinesiology in 2020.

Areas of Expertise

  • Human Motor Learning and Control
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurorehabilitation and Brain Injuries


  • Behavoral and cognitive components of motor skill
  • Learning and control principles of motor behavior
  • Neural substrates for motor skill
  • Factors that influence rehabilitation of motor function



  •  Ph.D. in Psychology (Cognition), 2011
    University of California, Berkeley
  •  M.S. in Psychology (Cognition), 2005
    Iowa State University
  •  B.S. in Computer Science, 2003
    Iowa State University


 Ramsey Center, 115 I
 706-542-9840 (office)

Research Summary

Humans can master a vast repertoire of motor skills. These skills often take years to reach a high level, but can be quickly lost and difficult to recover after injury. My research aims to understand how humans learn complex motor skills, how the skills are maintained across age, and how to restore them after neuromuscular injuries. My current focus is to

• Identify behavioral, cognitive, and neural components essential for dexterous motor function

• Derive learning and control principles that support the acquisition and production of dexterous movement

• Explore factors that influence rehabilitation.

My long-term goal is to design effective therapies to help patients regain their motor skills.