February 13, 2013

Our Lab

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Current Lab Members

Principal Investigator     


Sin Wai Kin Foundation Professor in Humanities and Technology



Ping Li graduated from Peking University with BA and MA degrees in Chinese linguistics, and obtained his PhD in psycholinguistics from Leiden University (with graduate training at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics). He conducted postdoctoral research in language science and cognitive neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining PolyU he was Professor of Psychology, Linguistics, and Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University. He previously taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Richmond. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Brain and Language, Senior Editor of Cognitive Science, and Associate Editor of Frontiers in Psychology. He served as Editor of Bilingualism: Language and Cognition and the Journal of Neurolinguistics, as well as President of the Society for Computation in Psychology, and Program Director of Perception, Action and Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience at the U.S. National Science Foundation. Li’s research is focused on investigating the neurocognitive and computational bases of language acquisition, bilingualism, and reading comprehension in both children and adults. He uses digital technologies and cognitive neuroscience methods to study neuroplasticity and individual differences in learning and to understand the relationships among languages, cultures, and the brain. Li is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Psychonomic Society, and the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities.

Research Assistant Professor

Adel Chaouch-Orozco

University of Reading; Ph.D. in Psycholinguistics, 2021

Research Interests:

  • Lexical-semantic representation and processing
  • Bi-/multilingualism
  • Computational approaches to the study of language
  • Language and thought

Mingjun Zhai

Rice University; Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience

The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Master of Philosophy in Psychology
University of Hong Kong; Bachelor of Science in Statistics, Minor: Psychology, Finance


Research Interests:

My core area of research is in understanding cognitive and neural representations underlying our ability to process words and concepts, with a particular emphasis on understanding the different levels of representation involved, how they interact, and how the representational structure changes with experience and in different contexts. My approach to these questions largely relies on connecting behavioural and brain measures of similarity between stimuli and the similarity structure generated from well-established computational theories of how information is coded at different levels of representations.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Shaoyun Yu

Nagoya University; Ph.D. in Psycholinguistics and Neurolinguistics, 2021



Research Interests:

  • Embodied cognition theory and virtual reality.
  • Bayesian statistical modeling and advanced research technologies.
  • Crosslinguistic research on the processing of word order, animacy, and case marking in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Tongan.
  • Sino-Xenic vocabularies in Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

E-Mail:  shaoyun.yu@polyu.edu.hk / s.yu@pm.me

Zhe Gao

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition



Research Interests:

I focus on two themes in second language acquisition (SLA) using both experimental and corpus-based approaches. First, I explore the cognitive mechanisms behind SLA. I study how learners process and produce a second language (L2), what challenges they face, and what strategies they develop during the learning. Rooted in the first theme, the second theme aims to develop novel pedagogical methods and tools to improve L2 learning of various linguistic skills. I am especially interested in digital language learning. To be specific, I am developing virtual reality (VR) games, websites and APPs for Chinese learning, examining their short- and long-term effectiveness and exploring their impact on learners’ cognition.

E-Mail:  zhe.gao@polyu.edu.hk

Project Associate 

Shenzhen University; Master in Biomedical Engineering, 2016

Responsible for Projects:

E-Mail: zhexiao.guo@polyu.edu.hk

Yue Jiang

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; MSc in Multimedia Entertainment Technology, 2021

E-Mail: yuejiang@polyu.edu.hk

Ph.D. Students

Chanyuan Gu

Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; MSc in psychology, 2020



Research Interests:

  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Neuro-Cognitive Mechanisms
  • Individual Differences
  • Developmental Patterns of Language Acquisition

E-Mail: chan-yuan.gu@connect.polyu.hk

Yingying Peng

University of Edinburgh; MSc in Developmental Linguistics, 2018

Research Interests:

  • Second Language Acquisition
  • L1 Attrition, Psycholinguistics
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Consequences of Bilingualism for Language Processing
  • Cognition and the Brain

Jing Wang

University of Groningen; M.A. Linguistics – Multilingualism, 2020

E-Mail: j.jingwangjing@gmail.com


Kexin Huang

University of Edinburgh; BSc in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science

Imperial College London; MSc in Biomedical Engineering (Neuro-Technology)



E-Mail: erishuan@gmail.com

Visiting Ph.D. Students

Hangyan Yu

Zhejiang University; M.A. in Applied Linguistics, 2020


E-mail: hangyan.yu@polyu.edu.hk

Chunlin Liu

Tohoku University; MA. in International Cultural Studies, 2021




E-mail: liuchunlin0811@gmail.com

Research Associate 

Xinyi Ye

The Chinese University of Hong Kong; MA in Psychology 2021

The Chinese University of Hong Kong; MA in Linguistics 2019

E-Mail: ye_xinyi@yahoo.com

Research Assistants

Minghua Wu

Nanjing University; B.A.,Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages

National University of Singapore & Peking University; M.A.Chinese linguistics



E-Mail: minghwu@polyu.edu.hk

Yuhan Huang

Xiamen University; BA in Chinese Language and Literature

City University of Hong Kong; MA in Corpus and Empirical Linguistics



E-Mail: yuhan-mia.huang@polyu.edu.hk

Zixuan Jia

The University of Edinburgh; Msc in Phonetics

Minzu University of China, BA in Chinese Language and Literature



E-mail: zixuan.jia@polyu.edu.hk

Yue Hu

Lancaster University, MA in Language and Linguistics

Beijing International Studies University (BISU), BA in Albanian




E-mail: yue7.hu@polyu.edu.hk

Yuxi LI

Undergraduate in B.A. of Chinse and Bilingual Study and English for the Professions


E-Mail: yuxi135.li@connect.polyu.hk

For a list of Lab Alumni, please click here

Lab Facilities


Our lab has VR equipment for the study of language learning in immersive virtual environments, including the HTC Vive, Google DayDream, EinScan Pro 2X, EMOTIV EPOC X 14, KAT Walk C, Manus Prime II Gloves, Insta360 Pro2, Microsoft HoloLens 2, MAD GAZE – VADER, and  Oculus Quest.

For high-load simulations and analysis, we also use the University’s UBDA High-Performance Computing cluster. For MRI studies we use the facilities at the UBSN. Ample testing space is available in our lab for various cognitive and psycholinguistic experiments.

Brain Science and Language Technology Lab in Shenzhen


The Brian Science and Language Technology Laboratory at the PolyU Shenzhen Base is an innovation platform for the PolyU’s Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies at the Faculty of Humanities. We conduct research to understand the neural and computational bases of language representation and learning. Our research specifically addresses the questions of neuroplasticity, individual differences, and knowledge representation. To achieve these goals, we rely on a variety of convergent behavioral, computational, and neuroimaging methodologies and technologies (e.g., cognitive testing, artificial neural network modeling, VR, and functional magnetic resonance imaging).

See an example of our community outreach at the summer camp of intelligent medicine