Recent work indicates that structures principally involved in movement planning and initiation also appear to influence sensory processing and underlie aspects of cognition. For example, neurons within the frontal eye field (FEF), an area of prefrontal cortex, play a key role in the programming and triggering of saccadic eye movements, but also influence signals within posterior visual cortex. This work not only implicates the FEF in the control of visual selective attention, but it demonstrates the profound influence that motor control circuitry can have on the processing within posterior sensory representations. I will describe recent evidence of this influence and discuss its relationship to perception and cognition.
Dr. Moore’s laboratory at Stanford studies the primate visual system and how visual processing is integrated with executive control signals within prefrontal cortex, using the macaque monkey as a model species. His laboratory attempts to identify the neural circuits and neural computations necessary and sufficient to carry out fundamental perceptual and cognitive functions. Early on in his time at Stanford, his lab discovered that selective attention, a fundamental cognitive function, could be causally linked to the neural mechanisms controlling gaze.
Professor Moore received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1995, where he did his thesis work on the phenomenon of blindsight in monkeys with Charlie Gross. He was then a postdoctoral fellow at M.I.T. in the laboratory of Peter Schiller, where he studied the modulation of visual cortical signals during eye movements. He then moved back to Princeton as a research scientist where he began studying the neural mechanisms controlling visual selective attention. In 2003, he started his own laboratory at Stanford, where he is currently an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Professor Moore’s work is focused on identifying the neural circuits controlling visual perception and cognition, particularly visual attention. Professor Moore has been a Sloan fellow, a Pew Scholar, a McKnight Scholar, and was an Early Career Scientist of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 2009, he received a Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences for his work on visual attention.