Professor Roger Carpenter

Roger Carpenter

University position


Professor Roger Carpenter is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

Home page (personal home page)

Research Themes

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience

Clinical and Veterinary Neuroscience


I work on the brain mechanisms of human decision. The most common decision we make - two or three times every second - is what to look at next, and the measurement of the time taken to choose to look at a visual target - the saccadic latency - has turned out to be a highly informative way of studying the underlying neural decision mechanisms. This work has given rise to a model, LATER (Linear Approach to Threshold with Ergodic Rate), that is essentially Bayesian but with an added random component whose function appears to be to make our actions unpredictable (useful in predator-prey situations) and also to make our exploratory and creative behaviours more effective.

Modern technological advances mean that we can measure saccades rapidly and non-invasively, using portable micro-miniature devices, in the clinic or at the bedside, and this has led to an ever-increasing range of clinical applications, from PD and HD, through cerebrovascular impairment to metabolic and liver disorders.

A head-mounted saccadometer with built-in laser target projectors
A head-mounted saccadometer with built-in laser target projectors
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Research Focus



eye movement


reaction time

Clinical conditions

Cognitive impairment

Liver disorders

Metabolic disorders


Behavioural analysis




Roger Barker

United Kingdom

Iain Gilchrist Web:


Andrew Anderson Web:

Yasin Temel Web:

Key publications

Carpenter RH, Reddi BA, Anderson AJ (2009), “A simple two-stage model predicts response time distributions.” J Physiol 587(Pt 16):4051-62 Details

Temel Y, Visser-Vandewalle V, Carpenter RH (2008), “Saccadic latency during electrical stimulation of the human subthalamic nucleus.” Curr Biol 18(10):R412-4 Details

Carpenter RH, Williams ML (1995), “Neural computation of log likelihood in control of saccadic eye movements.” Nature 377(6544):59-62 Details



Story GW, Carpenter RH (2009), “Dual LATER-unit model predicts saccadic reaction time distributions in gap, step and appearance tasks.” Exp Brain Res 193(2):287-96 Details

Temel Y, Visser-Vandewalle V, Carpenter RH (2009), “Saccadometry: a novel clinical tool for quantification of the motor effects of subthalamic nucleus stimulation in Parkinson's disease.” Exp Neurol 216(2):481-9 Details


Anderson AJ, Carpenter RH (2008), “The effect of stimuli that isolate S-cones on early saccades and the gap effect.” Proc Biol Sci 275(1632):335-44 Details

Anderson AJ, Yadav H, Carpenter RH (2008), “Directional prediction by the saccadic system.” Curr Biol 18(8):614-8 Details

Roos JC, Calandrini DM, Carpenter RH (2008), “A single mechanism for the timing of spontaneous and evoked saccades.” Exp Brain Res Details


Carpenter RH, McDonald SA (2007), “LATER predicts saccade latency distributions in reading.” Exp Brain Res 177(2):176-83 Details

Oswal A, Ogden M, Carpenter RH (2007), “The time course of stimulus expectation in a saccadic decision task.” J Neurophysiol 97(4):2722-30 Details

Pearson BC, Armitage KR, Horner CW, Carpenter RH (2007), “Saccadometry: the possible application of latency distribution measurement for monitoring concussion.” Br J Sports Med 41(9):610-2 Details


Ali FR, Michell AW, Barker RA, Carpenter RHS (2006), “The use of quantitative oculometry in the assessment of Huntington's disease” Experimental Brain Research 169:237-45

Anderson AJ, Carpenter RHS (2006), “Changes in expectation consequent on experience, modelled by a simple, forgetful neural circuit” Journal of Vision 6:822-835

Michell AW, Xu Z, Fritz D, Lewis SJ, Foltynie T, Williams-Gray CH, Robbins TW, Carpenter RH, Barker RA (2006), “Saccadic latency distributions in Parkinson's disease and the effects of L-dopa.” Exp Brain Res 174(1):7-18 Details

Sinha N, Brown JT, Carpenter RH (2006), “Task switching as a two-stage decision process.” J Neurophysiol 95(5):3146-53 Details

Taylor MJ, Carpenter RH, Anderson AJ (2006), “A noisy transform predicts saccadic and manual reaction times to changes in contrast.” J Physiol 573(Pt 3):741-51 Details


Nouraei SA, De Pennington N, Jones JG, Carpenter RH (2003), “Dose-related effect of sevoflurane sedation on higher control of eye movements and decision making.” Br J Anaesth 91(2):175-83 Details

Reddi BA, Asrress KN, Carpenter RH (2003), “Accuracy, information, and response time in a saccadic decision task.” J Neurophysiol 90(5):3538-46 Details

Reddi BAJ, Asrress KN, Carpenter RHS (2003), “Accuracy, information and response time in a saccadic decision task” Journal of Neurophysiology 90:3538-46


Carpenter RH (2001), “Express saccades: is bimodality a result of the order of stimulus presentation?” Vision Res 41(9):1145-51 Details

Leach JC, Carpenter RH (2001), “Saccadic choice with asynchronous targets: evidence for independent randomisation.” Vision Res 41(25-26):3437-45 Details


Reddi BA, Carpenter RH (2000), “The influence of urgency on decision time.” Nat Neurosci 3(8):827-30 Details


Hanes DP, Carpenter RH (1999), “Countermanding saccades in humans.” Vision Res 39(16):2777-91 Details


Kinsler V, Carpenter RH (1995), “Saccadic eye movements while reading music.” Vision Res 35(10):1447-58 Details