Neuroscience CommunityBACK

Yuan, Kexin

PI, IDG/McGovern Institute, Tsinghua University

Associate Professor, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University

Tel: +86-10-62783759

Fax: +86-10-62773380

Email: kexinyuan@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn

Office: B218, Medicial Sciences Building

Lab: www.kexinyuan-lab.com

[Research Focus] For human being, audition plays crucial roles in language communication, learning, appreciation of music and social life. For rodents (both rats and mice), audition is important for their survival in natural environment and social interaction. Impaired auditory processing is tightly correlated with some well-known neurodevelopmental disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism. However, compared to other sensory systems, our understanding of auditory system is still very limited at molecular, synaptic, cellular, circuit and behavioral levels. In my laboratory, we are particularly interested in cortical and subcortical mechanisms underlying the processing of sounds and neural circuits underlying cognitive functions related to auditory behavior. Understanding these processes will help us understand the neural basis of audition and cognition, and may also help us develop treatments for cognitive disorders.
Current research directions:
1. The representation of sounds in auditory cortex and the modulation of these representations by cognitive functions, such as emotion, attention and motivation.
2. The role of inhibitory circuits in the maturation of auditory cortical functions.
3. Use modern tracing techniques to dissect the cell-type specific ascending and descending auditory pathways.

4. Neural circuits and cortical mechanisms underlying auditory task-switching flexibility. 5. Neural circuit mechanisms underlying animal social behavior

[Me & Science]
More than ten years ago, my Ph.D. study about auditory cortex triggered my curiosity in neural circuits. With the belief that one will find the root of neural physiological properties and behavior in anatomical connections, my research has been focusing on cortical inhibitory circuits, which is implicated in various brain disorders including schizophrenia, autism and epilepsy. So far, I have looked at inhibitory circuits, particularly in the auditory cortex, from the perspectives of synaptic integration, anatomy and development. Lately, we are expanding our focus from cortical inhibitory circuits to those subcortical ones. We are asking how those inhibitory circuits participate in animal’s cognitive behavior.​


[Education & Experience]

2012-Present     PI,IDG/McGovern Institute, Tsinghua University

2012-present     Associate Professor, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University

2009-2012         Postdoctoral Fellow, Coleman Memorial Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco

2006-2008         Postdoctoral Fellow, Coleman Memorial Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco
                           Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular and Cell BiologyUniversity of California, Berkeley

2001-2006          Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

1997-2001          B.S.  in Biochemistry, Yantai University


[Selected Publications]

Cai D, Yue Y, Liu M, Wang Y, Su X, You L, Xie F, Deng F, Chen F, Luo M, Yuan K* (2018) Distinct anatomical connectivity patterns differentiate subdivisions of the nonlemniscal auditory thalamus in mice. Cereb Cortex. doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhy115

Xie F, You L, Cai D, Liu M, Yue Y, Wang Y, Yuan K* (2017) Fast inhibitory decay facilitates adult-like temporal processing in layer 5 of developing primary auditory cortex. Cereb Cortex. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhx284.

Cai D, Han R, Liu M, Xie F, You L, Zheng Y, Zhao L, Yao J, Wang Y, Yue Y, Schreiner CE and Yuan K* (2017) A critical role of inhibition in temporal processing maturation in the primary auditory cortex. Cereb Cortex. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhx057.

Xie F, You L, Cai D, Liu M, Yue Y, Wang Y, Yuan K* (2017) Fast inhibitory decay facilitates adult-like temporal processing in layer 5 of developing primary auditory cortex. Cereb Cortex. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhx284.

Froemke RC, Carcea I, Barker AJ, Yuan K, Seybold BA, Martins AR, Zaika N, Bernstein H, Wachs M, Levis PA, Polley DB, Merzenich MM and Schreiner CE (2013) Long-term modification of cortical synapses improves sensory perception. Nat Neurosci 16(1): 79-88.

Yuan K*, Shih JY, Winer JA and Schreiner CE (2011). Functional networks of parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons in cat auditory cortex. J Neurosci 31(37): 13333-13342.