Marc A. Sommer, W. H. Gardner, Jr. Associate Professor  

Marc A. Sommer
Contact Info:
Office Location:  1153 CIEMAS
Office Phone:  (919) 684-7015
Email Address:   send me a message
Web Page:


Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1995
MS, Stanford University, 1990
BS, Stanford University, 1989
Research Interests:

Dr. Marc Sommer studies neuronal circuits of the brain. Research in his laboratory involves recording from single neurons and studying the effects of inactivating or stimulating well-defined brain areas. His goals are to understand how individual areas process signals and how multiple areas interact to cause cognition and behavior. Results from the work are guiding the design of vision-based models and robots.


Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

Bass Society of Fellows, Duke University
Capers and Mario McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University
Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, 2005, 2006
Fellow Award for Research Excellence, National Institutes of Health, 1999
Member, International Neuropsychological Symposium, 2007
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Neurosciences, National Science Foundation, 1990-1993
Sloan Research Fellowship-Neuroscience, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Teaching (Fall 2022):

    Hudson 222, TuTh 01:45 PM-03:00 PM
    Teer P015, F 01:45 PM-04:45 PM
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Ashmore, RC; Sommer, MA, Delay activity of saccade-related neurons in the caudal dentate nucleus of the macaque cerebellum., Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 109 no. 8 (April, 2013), pp. 2129-2144 [pdf], [doi]  [abs].
  2. Smith, MA; Sommer, MA, Spatial and temporal scales of neuronal correlation in visual area V4., The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, vol. 33 no. 12 (March, 2013), pp. 5422-5432 [pdf], [doi]  [abs].
  3. Mayo, JP; Sommer, MA, Neuronal correlates of visual time perception at brief timescales., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, vol. 110 no. 4 (January, 2013), pp. 1506-1511 [pdf], [doi]  [abs].
  4. Shin, S; Sommer, MA, Division of labor in frontal eye field neurons during presaccadic remapping of visual receptive fields., Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 108 no. 8 (October, 2012), pp. 2144-2159 [pdf], [doi]  [abs].
  5. Middlebrooks, PG; Sommer, MA, Neuronal correlates of metacognition in primate frontal cortex., Neuron, vol. 75 no. 3 (August, 2012), pp. 517-530 [pdf], [doi]  [abs].
  6. Crapse, TB; Sommer, MA, Frontal eye field neurons assess visual stability across saccades., The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, vol. 32 no. 8 (February, 2012), pp. 2835-2845 [pdf], [doi]  [abs].
  7. Shin, S; Sommer, MA, Activity of neurons in monkey globus pallidus during oculomotor behavior compared with that in substantia nigra pars reticulata., Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 103 no. 4 (April, 2010), pp. 1874-1887 [pdf], [doi]  [abs].
  8. Crapse, TB; Sommer, MA, Corollary discharge across the animal kingdom., Nature Reviews. Neuroscience, vol. 9 no. 8 (August, 2008), pp. 587-600 [pdf], [doi]  [abs].
  9. Sommer, MA; Wurtz, RH, Influence of the thalamus on spatial visual processing in frontal cortex., Nature, vol. 444 no. 7117 (November, 2006), pp. 374-377 [pdf], [doi]  [abs].
  10. Sommer, MA; Wurtz, RH, A pathway in primate brain for internal monitoring of movements., Science (New York, N.Y.), vol. 296 no. 5572 (May, 2002), pp. 1480-1482 [pdf], [doi]  [abs].
Selected Seminars

  1. New Faculty Lecture Series, 2012 [sommer]