Honors & Awards

  • The Computation and Cognitive Neuroscience Summer School, Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Excellent Student Awards, Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Annual Meeting of Institute of Neuroscience: Outstanding Student Presentation Award, Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Rui Wo De Scholarship, Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Hsiang-Tung Chang Prize, Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Presidential Award of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • National Scholarship, Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Professional Education

  • Master of Science, Jilin University (2013)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Chinese Academy Of Sciences (2019)
  • Bachelor of Science, Jilin University (2010)
  • B.S., College of Veterinary Medicine, Jilin University. Changchun, China, Biotechnology (2010)
  • M.S., Basic Medical College, Jilin University. Changchun, China, Neurophysiology (2013)
  • Ph.D., Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China, Neurobiology (2019)

Stanford Advisors

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Social interaction in non-human primate


All Publications

  • Sensory-to-Category Transformation via Dynamic Reorganization of Ensemble Structures in Mouse Auditory Cortex NEURON Xin, Y., Zhong, L., Zhang, Y., Zhou, T., Pan, J., Xu, N. 2019; 103 (5): 909-+


    The ability to group physical stimuli into behaviorally relevant categories is fundamental to perception and cognition. Despite a large body of work on stimulus categorization at the behavioral and cognitive levels, little is known about the underlying mechanisms at the neuronal level. Here, combining mouse auditory psychophysical behavior and in vivo two-photon imaging from the auditory cortex, we investigate how sensory-to-category transformation is implemented by cortical neurons during a stimulus categorization task. Distinct from responses during passive listening, many neurons exhibited emergent selectivity to stimuli near the category boundary during task performance, reshaping local tuning maps; other neurons became more selective to category membership of stimuli. At the population level, local cortical ensembles robustly encode category information and predict trial-by-trial decisions during task performance. Our data uncover a task-dependent dynamic reorganization of cortical response patterns serving as a neural mechanism for sensory-to-category transformation during perceptual decision-making.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.06.004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000484400200016

    View details for PubMedID 31296412

  • Causal contributions of parietal cortex to perceptual decision-making during stimulus categorization NATURE NEUROSCIENCE Zhong, L., Zhang, Y., Duan, C. A., Deng, J., Pan, J., Xu, N. 2019; 22 (6): 963-+


    The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) has been implicated in perceptual decision-making and categorization, but whether its activity plays a causal role remains controversial. Here we examined the population dynamics of PPC activity during an auditory-guided decision task in mice. We found that silencing of PPC activity impaired several aspects of decision-making. First, categorization of new, but not well-learned, stimuli was impaired. Second, re-categorization of previously experienced stimuli based on newly learned categories was also impaired. Third, the bias on behavioral choices created by preceding trials significantly increased. In vivo two-photon imaging of PPC activity during stimulus categorization revealed differential dynamics in representations of new stimuli and learned categories, consistent with rapid incorporation of new sensory information during categorization. At the circuit level, inactivation of PPC axonal projections to the auditory cortex also significantly reduced categorization performance. Thus, PPC circuits play a causal role in decision-making during stimulus categorization.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41593-019-0383-6

    View details for Web of Science ID 000468883100015

    View details for PubMedID 31036942

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