I am a postdoc co-supervised by Dr. Melvyn A Goodale and Dr. Jody C Culham. I got my Ph.D. in Peking University China (Supervised by Dr. Fang Fang) with my research focusing on visual perception. Now I am working on perception (real object perception, space perception, haptic perception, and auditory perception) and action (reaching, grasping, tool use etc) with a combination of behavioral measurements (psychophysics and kinematics), EEG and fMRI techniques.
I completed my MA and PhD at the University of British Columbia, working in Dr. Alan Kingstone’s Brain, Attention & Reality Lab. There, I studied social attention, which encompasses both how we pay attention to other people and how our visual attention is influenced by others. I often used eye tracking to study social attentional effects within both traditional lab-based tasks and within more naturalistic (i.e. real life) environments.
I joined the Brain and Mind Institute in 2016, working with Dr. Goodale and Dr. Culham. Here, I have expanded my research to explore how action production is influenced by social intentions, i.e. making movements around and with others. Here, I have been using motion and eye tracking as well as fMRI methodologies.
An overarching goal of my research programs is to better understand how people behave in natural, social settings. In so doing, I believe we need to compare behaviour that is measured using more traditional single-person cognitive and neuroscience paradigms to how people behave in everyday environments when working around and with other people. This will help us to refine theories of attention and action to better predict human behaviour.
I have been a postdoc in the Goodale lab since July 2017. I am interested in how objects and object categories are represented in the brain, with particular focus on the ventral visual stream organization. The techniques I've used to explore these topics include representational similarity analysis of fMRI and MEG data, as well as behavioral methods. Before coming to Western, I did my PhD in Rovereto, Italy, working with Marius Peelen at the Center for Mind/Brain Sciences (CIMeC).
My research question is how we perceive the environment during voluntary body movement.
Benjamin Libet found that the onset of readiness potential (neural activity preparing for voluntary actions) precedes the awareness of wanting to move by several hundred milliseconds and the awareness of wanting to move precedes the action by 200 ms (Libet et al., Brain 1983). Overall process to initiate an action would take 1 second. However, when we are required to react to an imperative stimulus, our reaction time could be less than 300 ms as if some steps have been missed from the time course measured by Libet. But still, we normally have a belief that we reacted to the stimulus because we wanted to do so. How do we perceive the linkage between our actions and environmental input?
I am interested in the effect of actions on time perception. The difference of subjective time between the doer of the action and the observer of the action is especially critical in rehabilitation and in sports education.