My research programs investigate how perception, cognition, and action control processes continuously interact with one another to support adaptive human behaviors. Human behaviors are surprisingly flexible and goal-driven in diverse contexts. Not only that, our visual impression of the external world is richly detailed. However, scientific findings consistently and rather unexpectedly suggest that we seem to see or remember only a few (three or four) things at a time. Thus, there is a clear discrepancy that existing models fail to explain, given the complexity of human behaviors: How can we understand and interact with the dynamic and complex environment so well? What makes us “do more with less”?
I seek complementary and novel answers to these questions by investigating dynamic relationships between brain and behaviors.

Since human behaviors are made up of complex patterns of neural activity and dynamics across multiple brain areas, determining the mechanism by which many thousands or millions of patterns of neural activity are relevant for ever-changing human behavior may appear an insurmountable challenge. One approach to the solution may be taking the simplest-case scenario and identifying a one-to-one mapping between a brain area and its function for a single behavior. However, I seek an integrated, dynamic picture of the emergence of adaptive behaviors by taking an opposite approach that makes the task more complex. By studying how the brain solves the same problem in many different contexts and for different action outcomes, I aim to delineate the invariant components of brain dynamics that are critical to the task at hand and the variable components that are ancillary. Adaptive and flexible behaviors may emerge from different interactions between these invariant and variant components of brain dynamics.

Research interests

General: Behavioral and neural dynamics of Perception, Cognition, and Action
Specific: Goal-directed action, Visuomotor learning, Global ensemble perception, Social vision, Brain pathways, Hemispheric lateralization
Methods: Behavioral psychophysics, Neuroimaging (fMRI and MEG), Computational analyses, Eye and hand movement tracking