Vincent Ferrera

Vincent P. Ferrera, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Neuroscience, Psychiatry

PI Annex, 5th Floor
Tel +1 212-543-6931

Area of Research

Cognitive/Systems Neuroscience


Attention, Decision-making, Reward, Neurophysiology, Functional Imaging, Psychophysics, Computational Modeling.


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.


Ferrera VP, Yanike M, Cassanello C. (2009) Frontal eye field neurons signal changes in decision criteria.  Nat Neurosci. 2009 Nov;12(11):1458-62. Epub 2009 Oct 25.

Teichert T, Grinband J, Hirsch J, Ferrera VP (2009) Effects of heartbeat and respiration on macaque fMRI: Implications for functional connectivity.  NeuroImage. 

Ferrera VP, Grinband J, Teichert T, Pestilli F, Dashnaw S, Hirsch J (2008) fMRI Methods: Functional imaging with aversive/appetitive reinforcement, eyetracking and physiological monitoring.  Journal of Visualized Experiments. In Press.

Grinband J, Wager T, Lindquist M, Ferrera VP, Hirsch J (2008) Detection of time-varying signals in event-related fMRI designs.  NeuroImage. 43(3):509-20.

Cassanello C, Ferrera VP (2008) Neuronal responses to moving targets in monkey frontal eye field. Journal of Neurophysiology.  100(3): 1544-56.

Case GR, Ferrera VP (2007) Coordination smooth pursuit and saccade target selection in monkeys.  Journal of Neurophysiology. 98(4):2206-14.

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.