Roger Carpenter

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Roger Carpenter
RHSCarpenter mugshot, JPG.jpg
Roger Carpenter
Born 2 September 1945
Residence Cambridge, England
Citizenship British
Nationality English
Institutions Cambridge
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Known for publications

Professor Roger Hugh Stephen Carpenter (born 2 September 1945) is an English neurophysiologist, Professor of Oculomotor Physiology at the University of Cambridge.

Early life[edit]

Carpenter was educated at Gresham's School, Holt, Norfolk, where he was a member of Farfield (1958–1963),[1] and then at Cambridge.


Before being appointed as Professor of Oculomotor Physiology in the University of Cambridge, Carpenter was a Director of Studies in Medicine at Caius College. In his principal field, mechanisms of consciousness, his position can be described as a one-way Cartesian. He is the creator of EPIC (the Experimental Physiology Instrumentation Computer) and NeuroLab, a set of interactive demonstrations on the working of the human brain.[2][3][4]

In his spare time, he runs the CUDOS project (Cambridge University Distributed Opportunity Systems), aimed at using medical students' gap year between school and university. He was previously Director of a group called the Susato Consort and Susato Baroque Ensemble.[2][5]

In 2000, Carpenter was one of a group of twenty inaugural winners of a National Teaching Award of £50,000 from the Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.[6]


Carpenter's work focusses on mechanisms of decision. Measurement of saccadic latency, the time taken to choose a visual target and initiate an eye movement, is a reliable method for obtaining reaction time data. This work has inspired a model referred to as LATER (Linear Approach to Threshold with Ergodic Rate) to explain the decision mechanism. Technological advances enable oculomotor measurements to be made both quickly and non-invasively, using micro-devices which have many clinical applications.[7] He also has professional interests in vision in general, motor systems, and physiological mechanisms of consciousness.[2]

On a Cambridge web site, Carpenter describes himself as "Philosopher, mad scientist, and artiste extraordinaire".[2]

Major publications[edit]

  • Movements of the Eyes (Pion, London, 1988)
  • Neurophysiology (Arnolds, London, 1996)
  • Vision Research: a Practical Guide to Laboratory Methods (with J. G. Robson) (Oxford University Press, 1998)
  • Neurofisiologia, Italian translation by Paolo Martini (Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milan, 1995)
  • Neurofisiología, Spanish translation of 3rd English edition by J D A Martinez & J J A Valdivieso (El Manual Moderno, Santafé de Bogotá, 1998)
  • Neurophysiology (Arnolds, London, 2002)
  • Neurophysiology with co-author Benjamin Reddi (Hodder Arnold, 2012)

Selected publications[edit]

  • (with Williams, M. L. L.) 'Neural computation of log likelihood in the control of saccadic eye movements' in Nature (1995), 377 59-62
  • 'Moving the Mental Maps' in Current Biology 5 (1995) 1082-84
  • (with Merrison, A. F. A.) 'Express smooth pursuit' in Vision Research 35 (1995) 1459-1462
  • 'Eye movements and the mechanisms of accommodation and the pupil' in Comprehensive Human Physiology, R. Greger and U. Windhorst, eds., (Springer Verlag, Berlin, 1996) 829-837
  • (with Kinsler, V.) 'Saccadic eye movements while reading music' in Vision Research 35 (1995), 1447–1458
  • (with Khan, O., Taylor, S. J., Jones, J. G., Swart, M., & Hanes, D. P.) 'Effects of low dose isoflurane on saccade eye movement generation' in British Journal of Anaesthesia (1997), 87 675
  • 'Sensorimotor processing: charting the frontier' in Current Biology 7 (1997). 348-351
  • (with Hanes, D. P.) 'Countermanding saccades in humans' in Society for Neuroscience Abstract (1997), 23 757.
  • (with Heywood, H.) 'Blood glucose and saccadic latency' in Journal of Physiology (1998), 506 122P
  • (with Khan, O., Taylor, S. J., Jones, J. G., Swart, M., & Hanes, D. P., 'Effects of low-dose isoflurane on saccade eye movement generation' in Anaesthesia 54 (1999), 142-145
  • 'Mouvements oculaires et lecture musicale au piano' in Médecine des Arts 28 (1999), 8-13
  • 'A neural mechanism that randomises behaviour' in Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (1999), 13-22
  • 'Visual selection; neurons that make up their minds' in Current Biology 9 (1999), 595-598
  • (with Hanes, D. P.) 'Countermanding saccades in humans' in Vision Research 39 (1999), 2777–2791
  • (with Jandziol, A. K., Prabhu, M., and Jones, J. G.) 'Blink duration: a function of anaesthetic sedation' in British Journal of Anaesthesia 84 (2000), 278P.
  • 'The neural control of looking' in Current Biology 10 (2000), 291-293
  • (with Reddi, B.) 'The influence of urgency on decision time' in Nature Neuroscience 3 (2000), 827-831
  • 'Express saccades: is bimodality a result of the order of stimulus presentation?' in Vision Research 41 (2001), 1145–1151
  • (with Reddi, B.) 'Putting noise into neurophysiological models of simple decision making: a reply to Roger Ratcliff' in Nature Neuroscience 4 (2001), 336-337.
  • (with Jandziol, A. K., Prabhu, M., & Jones, J. G.) 'Blink duration as a measure of low-level anaesthetic sedation' in European Journal of Anaesthesiology 18 (2001), 476-484.
  • (with Leach, J. C. D.) 'Saccadic choice with asynchronous targets: evidence for independent randomisation' in Vision Research 41 (2001), 3437-3445
  • (with Asrress, K. N.) 'Saccadic countermanding: a comparison of central and peripheral stop signals' in Vision Research 41 (2001), 2645–2651
  • (with Ware, J. S., & Blount, P. R.) 'The dynamics of expectation: rapid effects of probabilistic cues on saccadic latency' in Neural Control of Movement: 11th Annual Meeting, (ed. Strick, P. L., Seville, 2001), pp. D-04
  • 'Reaching out: cortical mechanisms of directed action' in Current Biology 12 (2002), R517-519
  • (with Descamps, M. J. L., Morley, C. H., Leary, T. S. & Jones, J. G.) 'The effect of low dose sevoflurane on saccadic eye movement latency' in Anaesthesia 57 (2002), 855-859
  • (with Zarei, M., Nouraei, S. A. R., Caine, D., & Hodges, J. R.) 'Neuropsychological and quantitative oculometric study of a case of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease at pre-dementia stage' in Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 73 n(2002), 56-58
  • (with Nouraei, S. A. R., De Pennington, N., & Jones, J. G.) 'Dose response effect of sevoflurane sedation on the higher control of eye movements and decision-making' in British Journal of Anaesthesia 91 (2003), 175-183
  • (with Ober, J. K., Przedpelska-Ober, E., Gryncewicz, W., Dylak, J., & Ober, J. J.) 'Hand-held system for ambulatory measurement of saccadic durations of neurological patients', in Modelling and Measurement in Medicine, ed. Gajda, J., (Komitet Biocybernityki i Inzyneierii Biomedycznej PAN, Warsaw, 2003), pp. 187–198
  • (with Reddi, B. A. J., & Asrress, K. N.) 'Accuracy, information and response time in a saccadic decision task' in Journal of Neurophysiology 90 (2003), 3538-3546
  • (with Anderson, A.J.) 'Dynamics of probability prediction in a saccadic latency task' in Journal of Physiology (2004), 555P D554
  • 'The saccadic system: a neurological microcosm' in Advances in Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation 4 (2004), 6-8
  • 'Supplementary eye field: keeping an eye on eye movement' in Current Biology 14 (2004), R416-418.
  • 'Homeostasis: a plea for a unified approach' in Advances in Physiology Education 28 (2004), S180-187
  • 'Contrast, probability and saccadic latency: evidence for independence of detection and decision' in Current Biology 14 (2004), 1576–1580
  • (with Swann, M. F., and Reitter, S. J.) 'An inexpensive solid-state stimulator for ocular pursuit' in Journal of Physiology (2004), 555P D553
  • (with Jones, J. G.) 'Hypothesis - ocular monitoring techniques used in anaesthetic sedation may benefit drivers' in Bulletin of the Royal College of Anaesthetists 28 (2004), 1414–1415
  • (with Lamabadusuriya, H. I., & Martin, R. I. R.) 'The effect of distractors on saccadic latency' in Journal of Physiology (2004), 555P PC127
  • (with Reddi, B. A. J.) 'Venous excess: a new approach to cardiovascular control and its teaching' in Journal of Applied Physiology 98 (2004), 356-364
  • 'Does scopesthesia imply extramission?' in Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (2005), 76-78
  • 'Visual pursuit: an instructive area of cortex' in Current Biology 15 (2005), R638-640
  • (with McDonald, S. A., and Shillcock, R. C.) 'An anatomically-constrained, stochastic model of eye movement control in reading' in Psychological Review 112 (2005), 814-840
  • (with Anderson, A. J.) 'Saccadic latency in deterministic environments: getting back on track after the unexpected happens' in Journal of Vision 10(14) (2010), pdf


  1. ^ Old Greshamian Club Book (Cheverton & Son Ltd., 1999), p. 43
  2. ^ a b c d RHSC at
  3. ^ EPIC at
  4. ^ NeuroLab page at
  5. ^ CUDOS home page at
  6. ^ The Saccadic System: A Neurological Microcosm at (pdf file)
  7. ^ Professor Roger Carpenter at

External links[edit]