Home > Introduction

We are interested in understanding the neuronal basis of cognitive functions. We use visual, oculomotor and manual systems as behavior model to assess how cognitive functions affect behavior (such as visual perception, ocular movement and hand movement) and neuronal process (sensorimotor transformation/integration). Currently, we are particularly interested in understanding the neuronal substrates of spatial perception and spatial attention. We combine psychophysics, brain image, single neuron recording and computational modeling techniques working with human and non-human primates to try to discover the relationship between mind and brain.

Home > Research
Visual Stability

In average, our eyes make 3-5 saccades (quick, simultaneous movements of both eyes in the same direction) per second. As a result, the images of the stilled objects on retina displace their projections following each eye movement. Regardless of the frequent movement of our eyes, perceptually we see a continuous and stabled visual environment. Clearly, some extraretinal signals (e.g. corollary discharge) are existed in brain to compensate the retinal displacement caused by eye movements. However, the neuronal mechanisms underlying visual stability remain greatly unknown. One of our research interests is trying to discover the neuronal basis of visual stability.

Attention Modulation

It has been known for a very long time that attention could remarkably shorten the reaction time (RT) of behavior response. The classical view believed that attention reduced RT through facilitating the process of sensorimotor transformation. More recently, we find that covert attention could shorten the saccadic reaction time through routing the single transformation between different neuronal pathways. However, it is totally unknown about the neuronal substrates underlying attention routing function. We are trying to understand how attention affects the process of visuomotor transduction to generate saccadic eye movements.

Home > Members
Lab Leader
Mingsha ZHANG
Mingsha ZHANG    M.D., Ph.D. mingsha.zhang@bnu.edu.cn

1996 - 2003, Ph.D. in Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
1980 - 1985, M.D. in Medicine, Henan Medical University, ZhengZhou, P.R. China
Professional Experience
2013.09 - present, Professor, National Key Lab of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, Beijing Normal University
2008.07 - 2013.08, Principal Investigator, Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences
2004.06 - 2008.06, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University Medical Center
2004.01 - 2004.05, Postdoctoral Associate, Division of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
1991 - 1996, Surgeon and Senior Surgeon, Department of Surgery, Second Affiliated Hospital, XinXiang Medical College
1985 - 1991, Surgeon and Neurosurgeon, Department of Surgery, Second People’s Hospital of Kai-Feng

Research Assistants
Graduate Students
    Yu LIU

    Mo CHEN

    Yang ZHOU

    Zhihui HAN
Home > Publications
Peer-reviewed Publications
Asymmetric representations of upper and lower visual fields in egocentric and allocentric references, Yang Zhou, Gongchen Yu, Xuefei Yu, Si Wu, Mingsha Zhang*, Journal of Vision, in press.

Neuronal representation of saccadic error in macaque posterior parietal cortex (PPC), Yang Zhou, Yining Liu, Haidong Lu, Si Wu, Mingsha Zhang*, eLIFE, 2016 Apr 20;5. pii: e10912. doi: 10.7554.

Perisaccadic Receptive Field Expansion in the Lateral Intraparietal Area, Xiaolan Wang, Alan C. Fung, Shaobo Guan, Si Wu*, Michael E. Goldberg, Mingsha Zhang*, Neuron, Volume 90, Issue 2, 20 April 2016, Pages 400–409.

Stochastic Oscillation in Self-Organized Critical States of Small Systems: Sensitive Resting State in Neural Systems, Wang SJ, Ouyang G, Guang J, Zhang M, Wong KY, Zhou C, Physical Review Letters, 2016 Jan 8, 116(1):018101

A spatially nonselective baseline signal in parietal cortex reflects the probability of a monkey's success on the current trial, Mingsha Zhang, Xiaolan Wang, Michael E. Goldberg, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, June 17, 2014. 111(24):8967-72

Parietal cortical neuronal activity is selective for express saccades, Mo Chen, Yu Liu, Linyu Wei, Mingsha Zhang, Journal of Neuroscience, January 9, 2013. 33(2):814–823

Long term retention of saccadic adaptation is induced by a dark environmental context, Jing Wang, Ruobing Xia, Mingsha Zhang, Yujun Pan, Brain Research, 1489 (2012) 56 – 65

Asymmetric influence of egocentric representation onto allocentric perception, Yang Zhou, Yining Liu, Wangzikang Zhang, Mingsha Zhang*, Journal of Neuroscience, June 13, 2012. 32(24):8354–8360

Covert attention regulates saccadic reaction time by routing between different visual-oculomotor pathways, Shaobo Guan, Yu Liu, Ruobing Xia, and Mingsha Zhang*, Journal of Neurophysiology, 107: 1748–1755, 2012

Psychophysical evidence for spatiotopic processing in area MT in a short-term memory for motion task, Ong WS, Hooshvar N, Zhang M, Bisley JW, Journal of Neurophysiology, 102(4):2435-40, 2009

Monkey primary somatosensory cortex has a proprioceptive representation of eye position, Mingsha Zhang*, Xiaolan Wang, Michael E. Goldberg, Progress in Brain Research, 2008;171:37-45.

The proprioceptive representation of eye position in monkey primary somatosensory cortex, Xiaolan Wang, Mingsha Zhang*, Ian S. Cohen, Michael E. Goldberg, Nature Neuroscience, 2007 May;10(5):640-6. This was accompanied by a news and views

Persistent LIP Activity in Memory Antisaccades: Working Memory for a Sensorimotor Transformation, Mingsha Zhang, Shabtai Barash, Journal of Neurophysiology, 91: 1424-1441, 2004

Neuronal switching of sensorimotor transformations for antisaccades, Mingsha Zhang, Shabtai Barash, NATURE, 408 (6815): 971-975 DEC 21 2000. This was accompanied by a news and views

Saccadic dysmetria and adaptation after lesions of the cerebellar cortex, Barash S, Melikyan A, Sivakov A, Zhang MS, Glickstein M, Thier P, Journal of Neuroscience, 19 (24): 10931-10939 DEC 15 1999
Two subdivisions of macaque LIP process visual-oculomotor information differently, Mo Chen, Bing Li, Jing Guang, Linyu Wei, Si Wu, Yu Liu*, Mingsha Zhang*, PNAS, resubmission
Book Chapters
Switching of sensorimotor transformations: antisaccades and parietal cortex, Shabtai Barash and Mingsha Zhang

2005 Percept, decision, action: bridging the gaps. Wiley, Chichester (Novartis Foundation Symposium 270) p 59–74