Ai-Hua Chen

Institute of Brain Functional Genomics
East China Normal University


Aihua Chen is Head of the Laboratory of Sensation and Action, Institute of Brain Functional Genomics at East China Normal University. She graduated from Nanjing University with a B.S. degree in Biological Science and Technology (2000), and obtained her Ph.D. degree in Neurophysiology at Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2005. Then she conducted a postdoctoral research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Department of Anatomy and Neurophysiology. She joined ECNU as a faculty member in 2012.

Research Interests

The long-term of Dr. Chen’s research is to understand the neural basis of how our brain uses multisensory information to control action. This work requires a combination of behavioral, cognitive and neural analyses. Currently, she focuses on three main projects:

  1. Multi-sensory integration for self-motion perception. To navigate effectively through a complex three-dimensional (3D) environment, we must accurately perceive our own motion relative to objects around us. Perception of self-motion is a multi-modal process involving integration of visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive cues. Using a virtual reality system, we will perform behavioral and electrophysiological experiments with trained primates to address the contributions of the cortical neurons to heading perception and neural mechanisms of multisensory cue integration during this perception.
  2. Perception decision making and Economic decision making. Perceptual decision-making (PDM) is concerned with how observers detect, discriminate, and categorize noisy sensory information. Economic decision-making (EDM) explores how options are selected on the basis of their reinforcement history. But sensory perception is highly influenced by action, attention, and higher level functions (e.g., reward). Using a cue-conflict adaptation task, we are trying to understand the neural mechanism of how the decision made in both tasks, under which an agent has to combine sensory information (what is the stimulus) with value information (what is it worth).
  3. Sequential action Learning. A fundamental problem in neuroscience is to understand how large recurrent networks in the brain, and specifically in cortex, learn to produce specific behavioral outputs. Combing a sequence saccade task with optogentetics techniques in Primate, we are trying to investigate what the specific cell-type neurons drive the sequential saccade behavior.


  1. Meng-meng Shao, Gregory C. DeAngelis, Dora E. Angelaki, Ai-Hua Chen. Clustering of Heading Selectivity and Perception-Related Activity in the Ventral Intraparietal Area. J. Neurophysiol. 119(3): 1113-1126, 2018
  2. YingYing Zhang, Danqing Jiang, Shasha Li, Peiji Liang, Aihua Chen. Progress in multisensory integration during self-motion processing, Acta Physiologica Siinica. 69(5): 693-702, 2017
  3. Ai-Hua Chen, Yong Gu, Sheng Liu, Gregory C. DeAngelis, Dora E. Angelaki. Evidence for a Causal Contribution of Macaque Vestibular, but not intraparietal, cortex to heading perception. J.Neuroscience. 36(13): 3789-3798, 2016.
  4. Wenhao Zhang, Ai-Hua Chen, Malte J. Rasch*, Si Wu*. Decentralized multisensory information integration in neural systems. J.Neuroscience. 36(2): 532-547, 2016.
  5. Tatyana A. Yakusheva, Pablo M. Blazquez, Ai-Hua Chen, Dora E. Angelaki*. Spatiotemporal properties of optic flow and vestibular tuning in the cerebellar nodulus and uvula. J.Neuroscience. 33(38): 15145-15160, 2013.
  6. Ai-Hua Chen, Gregory C. DeAngelis, Dora E. Angelaki*. Functional Specialization of the Ventral Intraparietal Area for Multisensory Heading Discrimination. J. Neuroscience. 33(8): 3567-3581, 2013.
  7. Ai-Hua Chen, Gregory C. DeAngelis, Dora E. Angelaki*. Representation of vestibular and visual cues to self-motion in ventral intraparietal cortex. J. Neuroscience. 31(33): 12036-12052, 2011.
  8. Ai-Hua Chen, Gregory C. DeAngelis, Dora E. Angelaki*. Convergence of vestibular and visual self-motion signals in an area of the posterior sylvian fissure. J. Neuroscience. 31(32): 11617-11627, 2011.
  9. Ai-Hua Chen, Gregory C. DeAngelis, Dora E. Angelaki*. A comparison of vestibular spatiotemporal tuning in macaque parietoinsular vestibular cortex, ventral intraparietal area, and medial superior temporal area. J. Neuroscience. 31(8): 3082-3094, 2011
  10. Ai-Hua Chen, Gregory C. DeAngelis, Dora E. Angelaki*. Macaque Parieto-Insular Vestibular Cortex: Responses to self-motion and optic flow. J. Neuroscience. 30(8): 3022-3042, 2010
  11. Ai-Hua Chen, Yong Gu, Katsumasa Takahashi, Dora E. Angelaki, Gregory C. DeAngelis*. Clustering of self-motion selectivity and visual response properties in Macaque Area MSTd. J. Neurophysiol. 100(5):2669-2683, 2008
  12. Guang-Li Wang, Yi-Zhou, Ai-Hua Chen, Pu-Ming Zhang, Pei-Ji Liang*. A robust method for spike sorting with automatic overlap decomposition. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 53 (6): 1195-1198, 2006.
  13. Yi-Zhou, Ai-Hua Chen, Hai-Qing Gong, Pei-Ji Liang*. Color information encoded by the spatiotemporal patterns of light response in ganglion cells of chick retina. Brain Research 1059 (1): 1-6, 2005.
  14. Xin Jin, Ai-Hua Chen, Hai-Qing Gong, Pei-Ji Liang*. Information transmission rate changes of retinal ganglion cells during contrast adaptation. Brain Research, 1055 (1-2): 156-164, 2005.
  15. Ai-Hua Chen, Yi Zhou, Hai-Qing Gong, Pei-Ji Liang*. Luminance adaptation increased contrast sensitivity of retinal ganglion cells. Neuroreport 16 (4): 371-376, 2005.
  16. Ai-Hua Chen, Yi Zhou, Hai-Qing Gong, Pei-Ji Liang*. Firing rates and dynamic correlated activities of ganglion cells both contribute to retinal information processing. Brain Research 1017 (1-2): 13-20, 2004.