Vincent Ferrera, PhD

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.