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Jeffrey D. Schall

Adjoint Professor of Psychology

Schall's research is addressing questions like these: How does the brain decide where to look? How does the brain control whether and when to produce a movement? How does the brain know when it makes a mistake? These questions are answered by monitoring neural signals in cortical and subcortical regions in macaque monkeys performing visual search and countermanding tasks. To relate the cognitive neurophysiological findings to human perception and performance, Schall collaborates with other faculty in the Department of Psychology. A collaboration with Geoff Woodman is characterizing cognitive event-related potentials and elucidating how they arise. A collaboration with Gordon Logan and Tom Palmeri is formulating and testing models that explain how neural signals accomplish the computations producing the task performance. A collaboration with Sohee Park and other colleagues is exploring how the disorders of task performance by patients with schizophrenia or Parkinson’s disease can be understood in relation to the cognitive neurophysiology and modeling findings.

Lab Website

Representative Publications

Neural mechanisms of response initiation, inhibition and monitoring

Hanes DP, Schall JD. (1995) Countermanding saccades in macaque. Vis Neurosci. 12:929-937

Hanes, D.P. and J.D. Schall (1996) Neural control of voluntary movement initiation. Science 274:427-430.

Hanes DP, Patterson WF 2nd, Schall JD. (1998) Role of frontal eye fields in countermanding saccades: visual, movement, and fixation activity. J Neurophysiol. 79:817-834.

Schall JD, Godlove DC. (2012) Current advances and pressing problems in studies of stopping. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 22:1012-1021. PMCID: PMC3496825


Neural mechanisms of visual search and saccade target selection

Schall, J.D. and D.P. Hanes (1993) Neural basis of saccade target selection in frontal eye field during visual search. Nature 366:467-469.

Murthy A, Ray S, Shorter SM, Schall JD, Thompson KG (2009) Neural control of visual search by frontal eye field: Effects of unexpected target displacement on visual selection and saccade preparation. Journal of Neurophysiology 101:2485 2506.  PMCID:  PMC2681430.

Purcell BA, Weigand PK, Schall JD (2012). Supplementary eye field during visual search: Salience, cognitive control, and performance monitoring. Journal of Neuroscience 32:10273-10285.  PMCID:  PMC3417208.

Heitz RP, Schall JD (2012). Neural mechanisms of speed-accuracy tradeoff. Neuron 76:616-628.  PMCID:  PMC3576837.


Computational models of response inhibition and visual search

Boucher L, Logan GD, Palmeri TJ, Schall JD (2007) Inhibitory control in mind and brain: An interactive race model of countermanding saccades. Psychological Review 114:376 397.  PMCID: 17500631. 

Lo CC, Boucher L, Paré M, Schall JD, Wang X-J (2009) Proactive inhibitory control and attractor dynamics in countermanding action: a spiking neural circuit model. Journal of Neuroscience 29:9059 9071.  PMCID:  PMC2756461.

Purcell BA, Schall JD, Logan GD, Palmeri TJ (2012) From salience to saccades: Multiple-alternative gated stochastic accumulator model of visual search. Journal of Neuroscience 32:3433-46.  PMCID:  PMC3340913.

Zandbelt BB, Purcell BA, Palmeri TJ, Logan GD, Schall JD. (2014) Response times from ensembles of accumulators. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 111:2848-2853. PMCID: PMC3932860


Generation of event-related potentials

Woodman GF, Kang M-S, Rossi, AF, Schall JD (2007) Nonhuman primate event related potentials indexing covert shifts of attention. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104:15111 15116.  PMCID:  PMC1986621. 

Cohen JY, Heitz RP, Schall JD, Woodman GF. (2009) On the origin of event related potentials indexing covert attentional selection during visual search. Journal of Neurophysiology 102:2375 2386.  PMCID:  PMC2775385.

Reinhart RMG, Heitz RP, Purcell BA, Weigand PK, Schall JD, Woodman GF (2012) Homologous mechanisms of visuospatial working memory maintenance in macaque and human: Properties and sources. Journal of Neuroscience 32:7711-7722.  PMCID:  PMC3373257.

Godlove DC, Emeric EE, Segovis CM, Young MS, Schall JD, Woodman GF (2011) Event-related potentials elicited by errors during the stop-signal task. I. Macaque monkeys. Journal of Neuroscience 31:15640-15649.  PMCID: PMC3241968.


Anatomical and physiological properties of frontal visuomotor areas

Schall, J.D., A. Morel, D. King and J. Bullier (1995) Topography of visual cortical afferents to frontal eye field in macaque: Convergence and segregation of processing streams. Journal of Neuroscience 15:4464-4487.

Schmolesky, M.T. Y.-C. Wang, D.P. Hanes, K.G. Thompson, S. Leutgeb, J.D. Schall and A.G. Leventhal (1998) Signal timing across the macaque visual system. Journal of Neurophysiology 79:3272-3278.

Godlove DC, Maier A, Schall JD, Woodman GF (2014) Functional evidence for a canonical cortical microcircuit in agranular cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 34:5355-5369. PMCID: PMC3983808

Neggers SF, Zandbelt BB, Schall MS, Schall JD. (2015) Comparative diffusion tractography of corticostriatal motor pathways reveals differences between humans and macaques. J Neurophysiol. 113:2164-72. PMCID: PMC4416585


  • 2014 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 2009 Chancellor's Research Award (with Gordon Logan and Tom Palmeri)
  • 2004 Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science
  • 2002 Elected into International Neuropsychology Symposium
  • 2001 Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching
  • 1998 Troland Research Award, National Academy of Sciences 
  • 1997-2000 Investigator Award, McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience 
  • 1990-1992 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow 
  • 1986 James W. Prahl Memorial Award for the Outstanding Graduate Student, University of Utah School of Medicine
  • 1986 Phi Kappa Phi, University of Utah
  • 1982 Phi Beta Kappa, University of Denver