Dr. Wen Li is currently accepting new graduate students.
Dr. Wen Li
Associate Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience
- PDB B342
- Our goal is to characterize sensory-cortex-based processing of threat information and to understand neural mechanisms underpinning the generation and degeneration of threat codes in the sensory cortex. We are also interested in how these processes contribute to anxiety pathology. Our research is performed primarily on the human level.
- Current Research
- We study emotion processing and emotional disorders taking a neurosensory perspective. We propose that sensory cortex stores threat codes and thereby supports active encoding of threat cues, initiating defensive responses directly or interactively with the limbic system. In anxious individuals, sensory cortical encoding of threat could be exaggerated, which combined with limbic hyperreactivity to threat and inadequate prefrontal inhibition thereof, can result in a vicious cycle, driving the genesis and maintenance of pathological anxiety. Using a combination of techniques (fMRI, EEG/MEG, psychophysiology and psychophysics), our research proceeds in two directions: (1) establishing a neurosensory mechanism of threat encoding (and anxiety), and (2) developing perceptual training protocols as a novel treatment, by rewriting or erasing threat codes in the sensory cortex of anxious individuals.
- Recent Publications
Clancy KJ, Baisley SK, Albizu A, Kartvelishvili N, Ding M, Li W (2018). Lasting connectivity increase and anxiety reduction via transcranial alternating current stimulation. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci, 13(12):1305-1316. PubMed Clancy K, Ding M, Bernat E, Schmidt NB, Li W (2017). Restless 'rest': intrinsic sensory hyperactivity and disinhibition in post-traumatic stress disorder. Brain, 140(7):2041-2050. PubMed Forscher EC, Zheng Y, Ke Z, Folstein J, Li W (2016). Decomposing fear perception: A combination of psychophysics and neurometric modeling of fear perception. Neuropsychologia, 254-261. PubMed You Y, Li W (2016). Parallel processing of general and specific threat during early stages of perception. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci, 11(3):395-404. PubMed Mao X, You Y, Li W, Guo C (2015). Emotion impairs extrinsic source memory--An ERP study. Biol Psychol, 182-9. PubMed Novak LR, Gitelman DR, Schuyler B, Li W (2015). Olfactory-visual integration facilitates perception of subthreshold negative emotion. Neuropsychologia, 288-97. PubMed