Research

I have a broad interest in social cognitive neuroscience, especially those related to resilience in poverty, reproducibility, and Neurolaw.

Resilience, Brain, and SES     Poverty is a global issue and influences the lives of millions of people. Studies have shown that people from different socioeconomic background have different health conditions (both physically and mentally, see Michael Marmot’s The Health Gap).  However, most psychological and cognitive neuroscience is based on the WEIRD population, ignoring the potential influences of SES on affective and cognitive processing. Most importantly, can social cognitive neuroscience help to improve the mental health and well-being of people with low SES background? Maybe research on resilience to stress will provide some hints, that’s why I am pursuing a post-doc position at Raffael’s Lab in the first place.

The Positive Self     The Self is the center for the individual’s mental life. Numerous studies in psychology devoted to this very interesting topic. During my Ph.D. study, I investigated how moral self-concept influence our perceptual decision making? Using social learning task developed by Jie Sui (see her 2012 paper), we asked participants to learn the associations between different aspects of self and simple geometric shapes, then asked them to perform a perceptual matching task by pressing buttons. In a series of experiments, we found a robust effect that the morally positive self was processed faster and more accurately. The underlying mechanism is being explored now.

Reproducibility, Open Science, and Neurolaw       The reproducibility crisis has been continually a focus of psychology in recent years. As a junior researcher in this field, I am deeply concerned about the credibility of psychology and brain science, the fields I love so much. I tried very hard to learn how to do research more transparently, in the hope to improve the reproducibility of my research. Also, I promote open science among my colleagues (both in China and around me in Germany)(https://osf.io/huyn4/). I took part in the collaborative project that aimed at greater power to test research hypotheses more severely (e.g., https://osf.io/2rm5b/). Currently, I maintaining a Chinese blog on reproducibility related topic (https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/psy-os).

Also, with a bachelor degree in Law, I am always interested in the intersection between cognitive neuroscience and the law. Together with my colleagues, I wrote a commentary to call for more attention to the reproducibility problem in neurolaw: Open Science as a Better Gatekeeper for Science and Society: A Perspective from Neurolaw.

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