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Yang, En

Assistant Professor
Genome Science Building

Lab Website

To survive and thrive, animals must learn to adapt to external environmental and internal physiological changes. It is fascinating how the brain continuously reorganizes its function to respond to these changes through learning. When an animal is learning, how do instructive signals lead to local plasticity first, and how does the local plasticity propagate across the entire brain? How can a complex system learn and keep changing while maintaining old memories?

My primary research objective is to identify the computational algorithms that enable cognitive behaviors and to determine how these algorithms are implanted in distributed circuits within the brain. To achieve this, I am developing innovative learning paradigms and utilizing cutting-edge imaging techniques to observe and manipulate the entire brain at single-cell resolution during the learning process.

In addition to my investigations into the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive behavior, such as navigation, learning, and memory, I am also passionate about using neuroengineering techniques to develop interventions that can ameliorate learning disorders and enhance overall learning performance. Through my research, I strive to unravel the intricacies of brain function and develop novel approaches that can improve cognitive outcomes for individuals across different populations.