Robert McPeek, PhD

Robert McPeek, PhD
SUNY College of Optometry 33 West 42nd Street New York, NY 10036
Lab Website


Neural Mechanisms Underlying Attention and Visually-guided Actions

The long-term goal of my research is to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying attention and visually-guided actions, including eye movements and reaching movements. To pursue this goal, my laboratory uses a range of techniques: performing psychophysical studies, investigating neural correlates using single-unit and local field potential recordings and testing causal relationships between activity and behavior using pharmacological and electrical manipulations of neural activity. Areas of the brain of particular interest include the superior colliculus and frontal cortex. Through collaborations, I am also involved in studies of deficits in attention and visually-guided actions in patients with focal brain damage.

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (Psychology), 1997, Ph D
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (Computational Neuroscience),1991, A B ,


  • 1990-1991: Undergraduate honors thesis work, with P. H. Schiller, M.I.T., Cambridge, MA.
  • 1991-1992: Software engineer, Vision Research Laboratory, Polaroid Corp., Cambridge, MA.
  • 1992-1997: Doctoral program, Cognition, Brain, & Behavior with K. Nakayama, Harvard University.
  • 1997-2001: Postdoctoral training, with E. L. Keller, The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute.
  • 2001-2003: Research Associate, The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute.
  • 2003-2007: Associate Scientist, The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, CA.
  • 2008-2010: Scientist, The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, CA.
  • 2010: Associate Professor, Dept. of Biological Sciences, SUNY College of Optometry, New York, NY.


  • 1987-1989: Harvard College Scholarship, Harvard College.
  • 1989-1991: John Harvard Scholarship, Harvard College.
  • 1992: William James Merit Fellowship, Harvard University.
  • 1992-1993: Office of Naval Research Graduate Fellowship.
  • 1993-1996: National Defense Science and Engineering Grant Graduate Fellowship sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
  • 1996-1997: Harvard Graduate Society Fellowship.
  • 1997-2000: Individual National Research Service Award Post-Doctoral Fellowship (NEI).
  • 1998-2000: Rachael C. Atkinson Award, The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute.