Dr. Ferrera’s research interest focuses in the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive and behavioral flexibility, having the ability adapt to changing circumstances. The Ferrera laboratory uses neurophysiological and functional imaging approaches to understand how the brain weighs evidence, adjusts decision criteria, and evaluates reward outcomes. They are especially interested in the neural mechanisms by which reward influences attention, especially in the context of socially rewarding stimuli such as faces.
Ferrera, V. P., Yanike, M., & Cassanello, C. (2009). Frontal eye field neurons signal changes in decision criteria. Nature Neuroscience, 12(11), 1458–1462. doi:10.1038/nn.2434
Grinband, J., Savitskaya, J., Wager, T. D., Teichert, T., Ferrera, V. P., & 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. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.12.027
Teichert, T., Grinband, J., Hirsch, J., & Ferrera, V. P. (2010). Effects of heartbeat and respiration on macaque fMRI: implications for functional connectivity. Neuropsychologia, 48(7), 1886–94. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.11.026