Shulman Laboratory

Gordon L. Shulman, PhD

Gordon Shulman is a Research Associate Professor of Neurology.
Dr. Shulman received his BA in Psychology from Yale University in 1975. He then moved cross country to Oregon to complete MS and PhD degrees, both in Experimental Psychology, from the University of Oregon at Eugene in 1977 and 1979, respectively. He joined the faculty at Washington University in 1987.

Current studies are directed at using neuroimaging methodologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to understand visual perception and attention in healthy adults. Since far more visual information is imaged on the retinal surface than is centrally processed, and since behavioral responses need to be controlled by events that are relevant to the organism’s goals, selection mechanisms are necessary during perception and action. Work in this and other laboratories has shown that attending to a stimulus can powerfully modulate the response to the stimulus throughout visual cortex. Two different types of neural signals underlie these modulations. ‘Instruction signals’ insure that selection mechanisms are properly tuned, while ‘attentional modulations’ reflect the effect of those tuned mechanisms on the neural response to subsequent sensory stimuli. My research takes advantage of the temporal resolution of fMRI to separate these signals over the whole brain, resulting in a better understanding of how people attend to such visual features as location or motion.


  1. Corbetta M, et al. A common network of functional areas for attention and eye movements. Neuron. 1998 Oct;21(4):761-73.
  2. Shulman, GL et al. Common blood flow changes across visual tasks: II. Decreases in cerebral cortex. J. Cognitive Neuroscience, 1997 9. 648-663.
  3. Shulman, G.L., Ollinger, J.M., Akbudak, E., Conturo, T.E., Snyder, A.Z., Petersen, S.E., and Corbetta, M. (1999) Areas involved in encoding and applying directional expectations to moving objects. Journal of Neuroscience, 19, 9480-9496.
  4. Corbetta, M. and Shulman, G. L. (2002) Control of goal-directed and stimulus-driven attention in the brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3, 201-215.
  5. Shulman, G. L., McAvoy, M. P., Cowan, M. C., Astafiev, S. V., Tansy, A. P., Corbetta, M. (2003) A quantitative analysis of attention and detection signals during visual search. Journal of Neurophysiology, 90:3384-3397.
  6. Corbetta, M., Kincade, J.M., Ollinger, J.M., McAvoy, M.P., and Shulman, G.L. (2000) Voluntary orienting is dissociated from target detection in human posterior parietal cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 3, 292-297.
  7. Shulman, G.L., Ollinger, J.M., Linenweber, M., Petersen, S.E., and Corbetta, M. (2001) Multiple neural correlates of detection in the human brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 98, 313-318.

Phone: (314) 362-8880

Mailing address:
Washington University School of Medicine
4525 Scott Ave, rm 2109
Campus Box 8111
St. Louis, MO 63110