Zoe (Xiaowei) Dong

Director, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
School of Psychology and Cognitive Science
East China Normal University

Email: zxwdong@gmail.com

Zoe (Xiaowei) Dong, Ph.D., is the Director and a Professor of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at East China Normal University. Professor Dong received her B.S. (1982) and M.S. (1984) from ECNU and Ph.D. (1991) from University of Bristol, UK. After completion of postdoctoral training, she became a faculty member in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1994. She joined the Schering- Plough Research Institute in 1998 and there held the positions of senior scientist, associate principal scientist, and principal scientist.

Research Interests

  • The cortical mechanism of chronic pain
  • Interaction between chronic pain and cognitive activities (e.g., attention, emotion and decision making)
  • Exploring novel strategies for the treatment of chronic pain


  • Role of cortical areas in the processing, integration and perception of pain

The project will determine cortical areas involved in the receiving and processing of nociceptive signals, and their roles in misinterpreting non-painful inputs as pain signals in chronic pain conditions. The study will combine experiments in animals with non-invasive tests in humans. Methods include single and multiple neuron recordings from animals (rodents and primates), and EEG recording and fMRI imaging from human subjects.

  • Cortical mechanism of pain memory

The aim of the study is to explore the role of pain memory in development and maintenance of chronic pain so as to develop novel pharmacological and psychological intervention for the treatment of chronic pain. Using electrophysiological, pharmacological, animal behavioral and psychophysical approaches, the study will examine the involvement of cortical networks and their role in the formation of pain memory. Molecular and cellular mechanisms will be studied.