Eric Schumacher

Cognitive control refers to the set of processes by which we direct our actions toward a specific goal. At the most basic level, control processes allow us to translate a presented stimulus into an appropriate motor action. However, these processes and representations quickly become more complex when trying to understand more involved behaviors such as learning peoples names or watching and understanding films. Research in our lab investigates both the cognitive and the neuroscientific aspects of the processes and representations required to carry out flexible behavior across a wide variety of domains.

Professor of Psychology
JS Coon 224
lab name: 
Cognitive Neuroscience at Tech Research Laboratory
Lab URL:

Ph.D. (1998) Psychology Cognitive Science & Cognitive Neuroscience University of Michigan

Selected Publications: 

Smith, D. M., Dykstra, T., Hazeltine, E., & Schumacher, E. H. (2020). Task representation affects the boundaries of behavioral slowing following an error. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 1-12.

Cookson, S. L., Hazeltine, E., & Schumacher, E. H. (2019). Task structure boundaries affect response preparationPsychological Research, 1-12.

Greenberg, J., Romero, V. L., Elkin-Frankston, S., Bezdek, M. A., Schumacher, E. H., & Lazar, S. W. (2019). Reduced interference in working memory following mindfulness training is associated with increases in hippocampal volume. Brain imaging and behavior13(2), 366-376.

Hao, Y., Yao, L., Smith, D. M., Sorel, E., Anderson, A. K., Schumacher, E. H., & Evans, G. W. (2019). Prefrontal-posterior coupling mediates transitions between emotional states and influences executive functioning. Scientific reports9(1), 1-9.

Abbas, A., Belloy, M., Kashyap, A., Billings, J., Nezafati, M., Schumacher, E. H., & Keilholz, S. (2019). Quasi-periodic patterns contribute to functional connectivity in the brain. NeuroImage, 191, 193-204.

Smith, D., Zhao, Y., Keilholz, S., & Schumacher, E. H. (2018). Investigating the intersession reliability of dynamic brain-state properties. Brain Connectivity, 5, 255-267.

Hunter, M. A., Lieberman, G., Coffman, B. A., Trumbo, M. C., Armenta, M. L., Robinson, C. S. H., Bezdek, M., O’Sickey, A. J., Jones, A. P., Romero, V., Elkin-Frankston, S., Gaurino, S., Eusebi, L., Schumacher, E. H., Witkiewitz, K., & Clark, V. P. (2018). Mindfulness-based training with transcranial direct current stimulation modulates neuronal resource allocation in working memory: A randomized pilot study with a nonequivalent control group. Heliyon, 4.

Schumacher, E. H., Cookson, S. L., Smith, D. M., Nguyen, T. V. N., Sultan, Z., Reuben, K. E., & Hazeltine, E. (2018). Dual-Task Processing With Identical Stimulus and Response Sets: Assessing the Importance of Task Representation in Dual-Task Interference. Frontiers in Psychology, 9(1031).

Yousefi B., Shin J., Schumacher E. H., Keilholz S. D. (2018). Quasi-periodic of intrinsic brain activity in individuals and their relationship to global signal. NeuroImage, 167, 297-308.

Bezdek, M. A., WenzelW. G., & Schumacher, E. H. (2017). The effect of suspense on brain activation and memory during naturalistic viewing. Biological Psychology, 129. 73-81.

Grooms, J. K., Thompson, G. J., Pan, W., Billings, J., Schumacher, E. H.,  Epstein, C. M., Keiholz, S. D. (2017). Infraslow Electroencephalographic and Dynamic Resting State Network Activity, 7(5).

Godwin, C. A., Hunter, M. A., Bezdek, M. A., Lieberman, G., Elkin-Frankston, S., Romero, V. L., … & Schumacher, E. H. (2017). Functional connectivity within and between intrinsic brain networks correlates with trait mind wandering. Neuropsychologia, 103, 140-153.

Schumacher, E.H. & Hazeltine, E. (2016). Hierarchical task representation: Task files and response selection. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25(6), 449-454.

Cookson, S. L., Hazeltine, E., & Schumacher, E.H. (2016). Neural representation of stimulus-response associations during task preparation. Brain Research, 1648, 496-505.

Hazeltine, E., & Schumacher, E. H. (2016). Chapter Six – Understanding Central Processes: The Case against Simple Stimulus-Response Associations and for Complex Task Representation. In H. R. Brian (Ed.), Psychology of Learning and Motivation (Vol. Volume 64, pp. 195-245): Academic Press.

Schwarb, H., Nail, J., & Schumacher, E. H. (2016). Working memory training improves visual short-term memory capacity. Psychological Research, 80(1), 128-148.

Bezdek, M. A., Gerrig, R. J., Wenzel, W. G., Shin, J., Pirog Revill, K., & Schumacher, E. H. (2015). Neural evidence that suspense narrows attentional focus. Neuroscience, 303, 338-345.

Magnuson M.E., Thompson G.E., Schwarb H., Pan W-J, McKinley A., Schumacher E.H., Keilholz S.D. (2015). Errors on interrupter tasks presented during spatial and verbal working memory performance are linearly linked to large-scale functional network connectivity in high temporal resolution resting state fMRI. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 9, 854-867.

Dmochowski, J.P., Bezdek, M.A., Abelson, B.P., Johnson, J.S., Schumacher, E. H. & Parra, L.C. (2014). Audience preferences are predicted by temporal reliability of neural processing. Nature Communications, 5, 1-9.

Thompson, G. J., Magnuson, M. E., Merritt, M. D., Schwarb, H., Pan, W., McKinley, A., Tripp, L. D., Schumacher, E. H., & Keilholz, S. D. (2013). Short-time windows of correlation between large-scale functional brain networks predict vigilance intraindividually and interindividually. Human Brain Mapping, 34, 3280–3298.

Schwarb, H. & Schumacher, E. H. (2012). Generalized lessons about sequence learning from the study of the serial reaction time task. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 8, 165-178.

Schumacher, E. H., Lightman, E., Schwarb, H., & Hazeltine, E. (2011). The Boundaries of Sequential Modulationsn: Evidence for Set-Level Control. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 37, 1898-1914.

Schumacher, E. H., Schwarb, H., Lightman, E. & Hazeltine, E. (2011). Investigating the modality specificity of response selection using a temporal flanker task. Psychological Research, 75, 499-512.

Majeed, W., Magnuson, M., Hasenkamp, W., Schwarb, H. Schumacher, E. H., Barsalou, L., & Keilholz, S. D. (2011). Spatiotemporal dynamics of low frequency BOLD fluctuations in rats and humans. NeuroImage, 54, 1140-50.

Schumacher, E. H., Seymour, T. S. & Schwarb, H. (2010). Brain activation evidence for response conflict in the exclude recognition task. Brain Research, 1329, 113-123.

Schwarb, H. & Schumacher, E. H. (2010). Implicit sequence learning is represented by stimulus-response rules. Memory & Cognition, 38, 677-688.

Schumacher, E. H. & Schwarb, H. (2009). Parallel response selection disrupts sequence learning under dual task conditions. Accepted for publication. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 138, 270-290.

Schwarb, H. & Schumacher, E. H. (2009). Neural evidence of a role for spatial response selection in the learning of spatial sequences. Brain Research, 1247, 114-125.

Seymour, T. S. & Schumacher, E. H. (2009). Electromyographic evidence for response conflict in the exclude recognition task. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 9, 71-82.

Schumacher, E. H., Jacko, J. A., Primo, S. A., Main, K. L., Moloney, K. P., Kinzel, E. N. & Ginn, J. (2008). Reorganization of visual processing is related to eccentric viewing in patients with macular degeneration, Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 26, 391-402.

Nagel, I. E., Schumacher, E. H., Goebel, R. & D’Esposito, M. (2008). Functional MRI investigation of verbal selection mechanisms in lateral prefrontal cortex. NeuroImage, 43, 801-807.

Landau, S. M., Garavan, H., Schumacher, E. H., & D’Esposito, M. (2007). Regional specificity and practice: Dynamic changes in object and spatial working memory. Brain Research, 1180, 78-89.

Schumacher, E. H., Cole M. W., & D’Esposito, M. (2007). Selection and maintenance of stimulus-response rules during preparation and performance of a spatial choice-reaction task. Brain Research, 1136, 77-87.

Stelzel, C., Schumacher, E. H., Schubert, T., & D’Esposito, M. (2006). The neural effect of stimulus-response modality compatibility on dual-task performance: an fMRI study. Psychological Research, 70, 514-525.

Schumacher, E. H., Hendricks M. J., & D’Esposito, M. (2005). Sustained involvement of a frontal-parietal network for spatial response selection with practice of a spatial choice-reaction task. Neuropsychologia, 43, 1444-1455.

Landau, S. M., Schumacher, E. H., Garavan, H., Druzgal, T. J., & D’Esposito, M. (2004). A functional MRI study of the influence of practice on component processes of working memory. NeuroImage, 22, 211-221.

Schumacher, E. H., Elston, P. A., & D’Esposito, M. (2003). Neural evidence for representation specific response selection. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 15, 1111-1121.

Schumacher, E. H. & Jiang, Y. (2003). Neural mechanisms for response selection: Representation specific or modality independent? Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 15, 1077-1079.

Schumacher, E. H. & D’Esposito, M. (2002). Neural implementation of response selection in humans as revealed by localized effects of stimulus-response compatibility on brain activation. Human Brain Mapping, 17, 193-201.

Schumacher, E. H., Seymour, T. L., Glass, J. M., Fencsik, D. F., Lauber, E. L., Kieras, D. E., & Meyer, D. E. (2001). Virtually perfect time sharing in dual-task performance: Uncorking the central cognitive bottleneck. Psychological Science, 12, 101-108.

Glass, J. M., Schumacher, E. H., Lauber, E. J., Zurbriggen, E. L., Gmeindl, L., Kieras, D. E., and Meyer, D. E. (2000). Aging and the psychological refractory period: Task-coordination strategies in young and old adults. Psychology and Aging, 15, 571-595.

Schumacher, E. H., Lauber, E. J., Glass, J. M., Zurbriggen, E. L., Gmeindl, L., Kieras, D. E., & Meyer, D. E. (1999). Concurrent response-selection processes in dual-task performance: Evidence for adaptive executive control of task-scheduling. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 25, 791-814.

Jonides, J., Schumacher, E. H., Smith, E. E., Koeppe, R. A., Awh, E., Reuter-Lorenz, P. A., Marshuetz, C., Willis, C. R. (1998). The role of parietal cortex in verbal working memory. Journal of Neuroscience, 18, 5026-5034.

Jonides, J., Schumacher, E. H., Smith, E. E., Lauber, E., Awh, E., Minoshima, S., & Koeppe, R. A. (1997). The task-load of verbal working memory affects regional brain activation as measured by PET. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 9, 462-475.

Awh, E., Jonides, J., Smith, E. E., Schumacher, E. H., Koeppe, R. A., & Katz, S. (1996).  Dissociation of storage and rehearsal in verbal working memory.  Psychological Science, 7, 25-31.

Jonides, J., Reuter-Lorenz, P. A., Smith, E. E., Awh, E., Barnes, L. L., Drain, M., Glass, J., Lauber, E. J., Patalano, A. L., & Schumacher, E. H. (1996).  Verbal and spatial working memory in humans.  In D. Medin (Ed.) The Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 35, 43-88. Academic Press.

Schumacher, E. H., Lauber, E., Awh, E., Jonides, J., Smith, E. E., & Koeppe, R. A. (1996).  PET evidence for an amodal verbal working memory system.  NeuroImage, 3, 79-88.

Meyer, D. E., Kieras, D. E., Lauber, E., Schumacher, E. H., Glass, J., Zurbriggen, E., Gmeindl, L., & Apfelblat, D. (1995).  Adaptive executive control: Flexible multiple-task performance without pervasive immutable response-selection bottlenecks.  Acta Psychologica, 90, 163-190.

Smith, E. E., Jonides, J., Koeppe, R. A., Awh, E., Schumacher, E. H., &  Minoshima, S. (1995).  Spatial vs. object working memory: PET investigations.  Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 7, 337-356.

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