Vincent P. Ferrera, PhD

  • Professor of Neuroscience (in Psychiatry)

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Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Neuroscience (in Psychiatry)


  • Male


The Ferrera Lab has two main areas of interest:

1) Flexible decision-making in prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia. We are interested in neural mechanisms underlying cognitive flexibility, the ability of an organism to adapt its behavior to changing circumstances. We use neurophysiological and functional imaging approaches to understanding how the brain weighs evidence, adjusts decision criteria, and evaluates reward outcomes.

2) Attention and reward in visual cortex. Attention is necessary to filter sensory data for behaviorally relevant information and is naturally directed toward rewarding stimuli. We are interesting in the neural mechanisms by which reward influences attention, especially in the context of socially rewarding stimuli such as faces.

Research Interests

  • Cognitive/Systems Neuroscience
  • Systems and Circuits

Selected Publications

Barborica A, Ferrera VP (2004). Modification of saccades evoked by stimulation fo frontal eye field during invisible target tracking. Journal of Neuroscience. 24, 3260-3267.

Grindband J, Hirsch J, Ferrera VP (2006). A neural representation of categorization uncertainty in the human brain. Neuron. 49(5), 757-63.

Cassanello C, Ferrera VP (2007). Computing vector differences using a gainfield-like mechanism in monkey frontal eye field. Journal of Physiology. 582(Pt 2), 647-64.

Ferrera VP, Yanike M, Cassanello C (2009). Frontal eye field neurons signal changes in decision criteria. Nature Neuroscience. 12, 1458-1462.

Ferrera VP, Barborica A (2010). Internally-generated error signals in monkey frontal eye field udring an inferred motion task. Journal of Neuroscience. 30(35), 11612-23.

Grinband J, Savitsky J, Wager TD, Teichert T, Ferrera VP, Hirsch J (2011). The Dorsal Medial Frontal Cortex is Sensitive to Time on Task, Not Response Conflict or Error Likelihood. NeuroImage. 57(2), 303-11.

Tung YS, Marquet F, Teichert T, Ferrera V, Konofagou EE (2011). Feasibility of Noninvasive Cavitation-Guided Blood-Brain Barrier Opening Using FUS and Microbubbles in Non-Human Primates. Applied Physics Letters. 98, 163704.

Teichert T, Yu D, Ferrera VP (2014). Performance monitoring in monkey frontal eye field. Journal of Neuroscience 34(5), 1657-1671.

Yanike M, Ferrera VP (2014a). Representation of outcome risk and action in the anterior caudate nucleus. Journal of Neuroscience. 34(9), 3279-90.

Patel GH, Yang D, Jamerson EC, Snyder LH, Corbetta M, Ferrera VP (2015). Functional evolution of new and expanded attention networks in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112(30), 9454-9459.