J Patrick Mayo, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
  • Visual-Motor Neuroscience Laboratory
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

A Conversation With Dr. Mayo


The Mayo Lab studies the influence of eye movements on the activity of visual neurons in the cerebral cortex. We hope to bridge the gap between well-controlled laboratory experiments and dynamic, natural primate vision. We record from large populations of neurons in critical nodes of the brain to directly observe how visual information from the retinae is transformed into adaptive commands to move the eyes.  Our goal is to understand the neuronal mechanisms of visual-motor interactions in order to: 1) facilitate the development of clinically viable treatments of visual impairments; and 2) provide a broad foundation for understanding how the brain seamlessly links perception and movements.

Education & Training

  • Senior Research Associate - Laboratory of Dr. Stephen Lisberger, Department of Neurobiology, Duke University
  • Postdoctoral Associate - Laboratory of Dr. John Maunsell, Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
  • Ph.D. - Laboratory of Dr. Marc Sommer, Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh

Representative Publications

  1. Guidera, JA, Taylor, NE, Lee, JT, Vlasov, KY, Pei, J, Stephen, EP, Mayo, JP, Brown, EN, and Solt, K.  Sevoflurane induces coherent slow-delta oscillations in rats. Front Sys Neurosci 11 (36), 2017. 
  2. Mayo, JP and Maunsell, JHR.  Graded neuronal modulations related to visual spatial attention.  J Neurosci 36 (19), 2016.
  3. Mayo, JP, Morrison, RM, Smith, MA.  A Probabilistic Approach to Receptive Field Mapping in the Frontal Eye Fields. Front Sys Neurosci 10 (25), 2016.
  4. Mayo, JP, Cohen, MR, and Maunsell, JHR.  A Refined Neuronal Population Measure of Visual Attention. PLoS One 10 (8), 2015.
  5. Mayo, JP, DiTomasso AR, Sommer MA, Smith MA. Dynamics of visual receptive fields in the macaque frontal eye field.  J Neurophys 114 (6), 2015.
  6. Mayo, JP and Sommer, MA.  Neuronal correlates of visual event timing at brief timescales.  Proc Natl Acad Sci 110 (4), 2013.
  7. Botvinick, MM, Wang, J, Cowan, E, Roy, S, Bastianen, C, Mayo, JP, and Houk, JC.  An analysis of immediate serial recall performance in a macaque.  Animal Cognition 12 (5), 2009.
  8. Mayo, JP and Sommer, MA.  Neuronal adaptation caused by sequential visual stimulation in the frontal eye field.  J Neurophys 100 (4), 2008.

Dr. Mayo's Publications


Research Interests

Cortical control of vision and eye movements in populations of neurons
Neural coordination of oculomotor plans
Influence of eye movements on vision and behavior