The human brain develops in social contexts. The cognitive functions of the brain are greatly influenced by the interaction between an individual and the environment. The Culture and Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory investigates whether and how sociocultural environments and biological factors such as genes modulate human brain functions using varieties of neuroimaging methods including high density event related brain potentials (ERPs), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Specifically, we study cultural and biological effects on the neural mechanisms underlying processing of social information. We investigate how human brains perceive emotion, intention, and belief by observing others' behaviors in complex visual scenes, how the brain represents the self and shares others' emotion, how cultures and genes influence neural substrates of self representation, and how cognitive and neural mechanisms mediating processes of social signals develop with age.
Our research projects include:
- Cultural influence on self-recognition and self-representation;
- Bottom-up and top-down mechanisms of empathy for pain;
- Domain general and domain specific neural mechanisms of theory-of-mind;
- Cultural influence on neural mechanisms of causal attribution.
- Genetic influence on neural substrates of social cognition.
- Neuroimaging studies of human aggressive and affiliative behaviors (The Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China, 2010CB833903, 2010-2014)
- Modulation of empathy by culture and social relationship — A transcultural cognitive neuroscience study (National Natural Science Foundation of China, 2010-2014)
- Cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying emotional influences on risk behaviors (National Natural Science Foundation of China, NSFC 30828012, 2009-2010)
- Neural mechanism of attentional modulation of perceptual grouping – A molet wavelet transform based analysis (National Natural Science Foundation of China, NSFC 30500156, 2006-2009)
- Cognitive and neural mechanisms of mental and causal attribution (National Natural Science Foundation of China, NSFC 30630025, 2007-2010)
- Effects of attention on motor learning and memory (National Natural Science Foundation of China, NSFC 30328016, 2004-2006)
- Cognitive psychology: Study of visual perception and attention (National Natural Science Foundation of China, NSFC 30225026, 2003-2006)
- Interaction between perceptual grouping and attention (The Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China, 2002CCA01000, 2002-2005)