Columbia University in the City of New York

Jerome L. Greene Science Center (Credit: Frank Oudeman/Columbia University)

Vincent P. Ferrera, PhD

Professor of Neuroscience (in Psychiatry); Principal Investigator at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute


Vincent Ferrera studies attention and decision making. A main goal of his lab is to understand how the brain makes decisions when faced with incomplete information. This work is bringing much-needed insight into the neural circuits that enable the brain to perform complex feats, such as navigating social relationships or adapting to changing circumstances. These investigations are particularly important for psychiatric disorders characterized by dysfunctions in social functioning and reasoning, including autism, schizophrenia and depression. His lab is also developing a technique known as focused ultrasound, which offers improved, non-invasive, targeted drug delivery via deep brain stimulation. Focused ultrasound could one day lead to better non-surgical treatments for patients suffering from a variety of brain disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

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Evolution July 13, 2015

Brain Network that Controls, Redirects Attention Identified

Human-specific network may have evolved to strengthen social communication.

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