Area of Research

Human Navigation, Brain-Inspired Computing, Computational Neuroscience, Neuroimaging

My current research revolves around two questions: How does the brain work during navigation? And, how does the environment influence people’s cognition?

In answering the first question, I research individual differences in the perception of distance, direction, and decision-making during wayfinding. Particularly, I look at neural mechanisms of the travel direction system in the human brain by using psychophysics, fMRI, and computational modeling.

Addressing the second question, I am curious about how biased world knowledge influences people’s cognition. As 90% of human beings are right-handed, most man-made tools are designed for right-handed use. In other words, we live in a right-handed world. To look at how biased world knowledge influences cognition at different spatial scales, I test left-handed and right-handed human and virtual robots in spatial tasks.

My research agenda expands to scientific questions that range across spatial and temporal scales. For example, I ask how neuroinflammation in the medial temporal lobe contributes to spatial disorientation. Additionally, I am interested in the sex differences in spatial abilities across different countries and continents, and how we understand different navigation strategies from an evolutionary perspective (e.g., hunter-gatherer theory). I would like to pursue a career that leverages brain science towards the advancement of artificial intelligence and artificial intelligence towards a greater understanding of the human brain.

Research Projects


Completed:Down below are links for selected projects:

Neural Representation of Direction in Exploration and Navigation

We show different direction classification performance in neural networks during navigation in a complex environment. We also observed a relationship between individual differences in the classification strength in each brain region and navigation performance.

Handedness in the Mental Rotation of Hands

We show that embodied experience influences spatial thinking about right hands, which might account for the presence of world knowledge variability in the mental rotation task, while also suggesting that common external experience shapes performance in spatial thinking tasks.