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This evening, I hosted the CNLM ambassador’s panel “How Addiction Hijacks the Brain: What Animal Models Can Tell Us About the Neurobiology of Drugs of Abuse”. This panel features four UCI addiction experts Dr. Christie Fowler, Dr. Ariana Nelson, Dr. Jessica Childs, and PhD candidate Mitchell Farrell. This is the second panel hosted by CNLM Adult Outreach Committee and we have over 60 attendees from the Irvine community. Although the audience size in summer is smaller than during the school year, I really enjoyed facilitating the panel discussion, learned about neural mechanisms underlying drug addiction, and was deeply inspired by scientists who are determined to devote their lifelong career to improving people’s mental health.
Today, I presented my work on head direction signals in the human brain at this year’s annual meeting of the organization for human brain mapping (OHBM). The conference focuses on understanding the organization of the human brain using neuroimaging methods. At this conference, I learned about new fMRI data analyses methods and different perspectives on open science and publishing.
I’m glad to announce that I will be the instructor of record for Psychology Fundamentals (PSYCH 9B/ PSCI 11B) at UCI in Summer Session I. Today is the first day of my teaching. In the following 5 weeks, I will lecture on in-depth topics of general psychology including learning, memory, thought processes, language, intelligence, motivation, emotion, and development.
This afternoon, I gave a poster presentation of my latest findings of head direction signals in the human brain at email@example.com - the annual spatial conference hosted by the Spatial Center at UC Santa Barbara with a topic on “Spatial Data Science for a Sustainable Future”. I’m glad to share my fresh research findings with my UCSB colleagues in both geography and psychology.
Today, I gave a short talk on “head direction signals during navigation” at this year’s Virtual Spring CNLM Conference with the topic “Memory: It’s About Time”. My talk took place in one of the data blitz sessions entitled “Memory Matters: Studies Examining Human Memory”. It was great to learn about the cutting-edge research from neuroscientists across the U.S. with a focus on learning and memory.
I am glad to receive this year’s Roger W. Russell Scholar’s Award from UCI CNLM. With this award, I receive $1000 to support research-related activities, and will be honored and give a research elevator pitch at the upcoming virtual CNLM Awards Ceremony on May 18th.
Today, I gave a short talk about my recent research on head direction signals in human navigation at the UCI Associated Graduate Students (AGS) Virtual Symposium. The questions I received gave me some clues on the knowledge gap between scientists who use fMRI and other biologists about my particular research. And I’d thus better polish my future talks to fill the gap. In addition, I’m glad to receive the Audience Choice Award, which is an acknowledgment for my research and presentation.
It was my honor to be selected as an attendee of the inaugural Communicating Science Conference for Graduate Students (ComSciCon) in the Los Angeles region. In the two-day conference, I gained many insights about science communication both in oral and writing formats, and connected with many STEM PhD students from nearby universities (UCLA, UCR, UCSB, and Caltech) who conduct really cool research.
I’m glad that our team, PawPaw Therapeutics, is the 1st place winner of the Business Pitch Competition 2021 organized by UCI Beall Applied Innovation and GPS-STEM! Our team is made up of me and other six biology PhD students and postdoc. We started with a medical research discovery, developed it into a business idea as a new type of cancer therapy, and pitched a business canvas to judges. This time, I gained industry insights as a STEM scientist and learned how research discoveries are turned into real-world applications. It’s my honor to work with such a pawsome team.
I am excited that this year’s first outreach event “Sleep to feel, to think, and to remember” from the CNLM Adult Outreach Committee was hosted successfully tonight with over 160 attendees from the Irvine community. This time, three UCI sleep experts Dr. Bryce Mander, Dr. Ivy Chen, and Frida Corona shared their life stories of how they got into sleep research and provided us with their precious advice on how to improve and better understand our sleep (A news article generated from this post was published on the CNLM website here ).
This evening, I led the session on Topic Modeling in the book club of Orange County R Users Group (OCRUG). The session covered contents of chapter 5 (converting to and from non-tidy formats) and chapter 6 (topic modeling) of the book Text Mining with R. All of my teaching slides and exercise materials can be found here.
I am glad that my co-authored book chapter “Central Coordination and Integration of Diverse Information to Form a Single Map” with Dr. Elizabeth R. Chrastil is finally accepted by the edited volume on Collective Spatial Cognition: A Research Agenda with Routledge (Taylor and Francis). The paper is currently under the final round of minor revision.
I attended and presented my research on head direction signals at this year’s virtual Cognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting (CNS). It’s nice to learn about other cognitive neuroscientists’ research at this meeting.
This evening, I led the session on Spark R modeling in the book club (advanced-track) of Orange County R Users Group (OCRUG). The session covered contents of chapter 4 (modeling) and chapter 5 (pipeline) of the book Mastering Spark with R. All of my teaching slides and exercise materials can be found here.
This morning, I presented my recent research on head direction signals in the human brain to prospective interdepartmental neuroscience program (INP) PhD students. It was a 5min short presentation with 3min Q&A. I received many interesting and diverse questions from prospective students and also learned about my colleagues’ cool research through their presentations. I hope many young and energetic ‘brains’ will join the UCI neuroscience community in the coming year!
I am glad to annouce the publication of my new coursera guided project “Visualizing Static Networks with R”. This project teaches learners how to visualize different types of static networks, which can be easily used in reports and presentations. The course can be considered as an intro course to network analyses and network visualization.
Today, I presented my latest research on head direction signals in the human brain at the Sfn Global Connectome. At the conference, I discussed with neuroscientists who study head direction signals in rodents, macaques, and drosophila. The clues I gained from the fascinating discoveries in other species really helped me consolidate my theories on how travel direction system works in the human brain.
I’m glad to receive this year’s Trainee Professional Development Award (TPDA) from Society for Neuroscience (Sfn). With this award, I receive complimentary registration to attend the upcoming Sfn Global Connectome virtual event. More importantly, I will also receive access to professional development opportunities on Neuronline in the following year and get to network with other receipients who conduct cool neuroscience research!
I was fortunate to attend this year’s virtual Conference on Neural Information Processing System (NeurIPS 2020) thanks to the registration support from the NeurIPS 3rd Robot Learning Workshop. Although this is not a conference I’m regularly involved in, attending this conference is quite an experience filled with serendipity. (Note: part of this post is published as an article “What a cognitive psychologist learned from robotics” on the Medium Platform)
Today, I presented my latest research on the neural representation of head direction signals in the human brain at Psychonomics 2020. I am glad to receive all the good questions and kind suggestions from other cognitive psychologists.
Today, I talked about my research on studying travel direction using a motion adaptation paradigm at Neuromatch Conference 3.0 (nmc3). I am glad to share my research with the general neuroscience community and I appreciate the good suggestions from other neuroscientists on the next step of my research.
Over the past weekend, I participated in a Datathon “WaiDATATHON For Sustainable Future” hosted by WaiACCELERATE & Women in AI (WAI). As a member of the Foodwizer team, I worked on the challenge “Recommending dishes based on personal nutrient needs”. This time, I implemented association rule mining on a recipe ingredients dataset. Through this analysis, I discovered the probability of the co-occurrence of ingredients in a recipe. And our global team (with Betty from Netherland and Kirthy from India) won the 2nd place of the Datathon!
Today, I presented my talk “Travel Direction as a Fundamental Component of Human Navigation” at the data blitz session of the 2020 Interdisciplinary Navigation Symposium (iNAV). The study is to look at the role of travel direction in the internal representation system of human navigation using a traditional paradigm in vision neuroscience - motion adaptation. The data will be incorporated as part of the first chapter of my Ph.D. dissertation and a recording of the talk should be available on the iNAV website since next week.
I am glad to annouce the publication of my first coursera guided project “Finding bibliography metrics using the crossref API”. This project makes it convenient for learners to analyze different bibliography metrics from different perspectives, such as impact and number of collaborators.
Published in PsyCh Journal, 2014
In third-party punishment, people encountered more conflict when they did not change unfair offers. Furthermore, it was implied that altruistic punishment, rather than rational utilitarianism, might be the prepotent tendency for humans that is involved in the early stage of decision-making.
Recommended citation: Qu, L., Dou, W., Cheng, Y., & Qu, C. (2014). The processing course of conflicts in third‐party punishment: An event‐related potential study. PsyCh Journal, 3(3), 214-221.
Published in Frontiers in Psychology, 2015
In third-party punishment, the altruistic tendency effect influences fairness consideration in the early stage of evaluation. Moreover, the results provide further neuroscience evidence for inequity aversion.
Recommended citation: Sun, L., Tan, P. *, Cheng, Y. *, Chen, J., & Qu, C. (2015). The effect of altruistic tendency on fairness in third-party punishment. Frontiers in psychology, 6, 820.
Published in Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 2020
Our findings demonstrate that embodied experience influences spatial thinking about right hands, which might account for the presence of world knowledge variability in MRT, while also suggesting that common external experience shapes performance in spatial thinking tasks. These findings demonstrate that investigations in spatial thinking tasks might overlook the nuances reflecting world knowledge versus embodied experience if researchers do not recruit left-handers.
Recommended citation: Cheng, Y., Hegarty, M., & Chrastil, E. R. (2020). Telling right from right: the influence of handedness in the mental rotation of hands. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 5, 1-18.
Published in OSF Preprint, 2021
Neuromatch Academy was designed as an online summer school to cover the basics of computational neuroscience in three weeks. The materials cover dominant and emerging computational neuroscience tools, how they complement one another, and specifically focus on how they can help us to better understand how the brain functions.
Recommended citation: 't Hart, B. M., Achakulvisut, T., Blohm, G., Kording, K., Peters, M. A. K., Akrami, A., … Hyafil, A. (2021, February 15). Neuromatch Academy: a 3-week, online summer school in computational neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/9fp4v
We show that travel direction is a fundamental component of human 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.
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.
We show that people’s perception of spatial distance toward famous people is influenced by time distance. The more historical the person, the bigger the influence of the time distance.
We look at navigation paths in males and females from a mobile game – Sea Hero Quest.
We observed consistent sex differences in mental rotation ability and line angle judgment ability across countries.
To k-12 students, college students, and professionals, China & United States, 2020
To teaching assistants, teaching associates, and instructors of record who teach at universities and colleges, UCSB, 2020
To high school students & undergraduates & graduates, UCI & UCSB & GSMI, 2020
To global learners, remote, 2021
To senior undergraduates, master students, and phd students, remote, 2021
To undergraduates, UCI, UCSB, and Dartmouth College, 2021