Xinying Cai Awarded NSFC Grant

Dr. Xinying Cai, Assistant Professor of neural and cognitive sciences at NYU Shanghai, has been awarded a three-year grant from one of NSFC’s Major Research Plan to launch a project studying the neural circuits of emotion and memory. Other collaborators include Dr. Xiao-Jing Wang, Global Professor of Neural Science at NYU.

“Our brain constantly processes and stores information about reward and aversion, later this kind of information affects our decisions. For example, the memory of running across a snake while picking up strawberries in an orchard will be saved in our memory and influence our future behavior,” said Dr. Cai, “it is still a mystery, however, as where and how this kind of affective-based working memory operates in our brain.”

Combining non-human primate behavior study, electrophysiology, and computational modeling methodology, Dr. Cai’s research seeks to gain a better understanding of the role that orbitofrontal cortex – amygdala circuit plays during affective-based working memory. Ultimately, he hopes the study of this crucial circuit could enrich our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying affective-based working memory at large.

“We are very grateful that NSFC acknowledges the value of our project, has confidence in our capabilities and is willing to invest in our team,” excited about getting the grant, Dr. Cai commented that “we look forward to progressing our research through this grant, as well as meeting peers and leading scientists in this area.”

Written by Cathy Qu, Office of Research