Scientist, inventor to lecture at IHMC

Michael Larson will discuss Enhancing Wellness Through Sensory Stimulation: An Application to Better Sleep in Ocala on April 25th.

Michael Larson is an educator, inventor and senior research scientist with the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University, a master’s degree at the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But his innate curiosity started well before he achieved such milestones.

“I have always been eager to figure out how things work. A vivid memory of childhood was when I dismantled an incandescent lightbulb and examined the parts before setting about making my own. I got quite the shock, literally and figuratively, when the bottle containing my coiled filament exploded in my hand upon plugging my cord into an outlet,” he shares. “I was the son of a career U. S. Marine, so my family moved around a lot when I was a kid, which fostered the portable activity of mechanism exploration—there was no shortage of things to examine.”

Larson’s first job was analyzing aircraft structures, which “instilled in me a desire to learn more, and I ventured to MIT to earn a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering,” he recalls. “That opened my eyes to how I could do meaningful things in the academic world, and I decided to be a university professor teaching and performing research.”  

As a professor at Tulane University and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, he came to know Ken Ford, the founder and CEO of IHMC, “a model for fostering economic development activities between university researchers and private enterprises.” Larson soon visited IHMC in Pensacola and gave a presentation about a surgical system he invented. 

“Along the way, I created other inventions, founded a handful of companies and came to appreciate new avenues whereby I could improve people’s lives through entrepreneurship,” he notes. “Ford facilitated my linking up with some of the super smart research staff at IHMC who share my passion for creating technology solutions to help with sleep, and my more general interests in boosting wellness, health and performance—finding new ways to help people live their best lives.”

On April 25th, Larson will lecture in Ocala on Enhancing Wellness Through Sensory Stimulation: An Application to Better Sleep.

“I plan to discuss a framework for how we can be more innovative in approaching wellness,” he states, “and talk about our work in sleep as an example of using the natural senses in intentional ways to bring about positive changes in how our bodies perform.” 

The lecture will take place at 15 SE Osceola Ave., beginning with a reception at 5:30 p.m. 

To learn more and RSVP, go to

To see a video about how Larson helped one of his daughters with a sleep challenge, go to

Posted in Health, Living

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