From my early medical pursuits in China to the academic world in the U.S., an introductory course in psychology in the U.S. was a turning point, which steered me towards physiological psychology or behavioral neuroscience. My career trajectory has been a confluence of science, culture, and profound curiosity.
My early research focused on the brain mechanisms of memory, specifically the neural underpinnings of Korsakoff’s syndrome, a memory disorder often linked to chronic alcoholism. Recognizing the prevalent alcohol-related challenges among college demographics, I collaborated with students at Lewis & Clark to understand the neurocognitive factors influencing heavy drinking behaviors, with an emphasis on its interplay with the brain’s prefrontal executive functions.
As someone fluent in two languages and cultures, I’ve been driven to explore the neuroplastic effects of multilingualism. How speaking multiple languages shapes our brain and how each language carries with it a unique cultural essence. Specifically, how does bilingualism modulate our brain’s executive functions? And how does each linguistic proficiency resonate with its distinct cultural neural imprints? Assisted by dedicated students, our research team spent several summers to unraveling these neuroscientific conundrums.
My teaching portfolio at Lewis & Clark reflects my profound interest and expertise in the subject matter.
PhD in Physiological Psychology, University of New Hampshire, 1996