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YiYuan Tang

DTPHX Campus
DTPHX Campus


Yi-Yuan Tang has an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural background, experience, and expertise in the areas of cognitive, affective, cultural, developmental and health neuroscience and psychology, health sciences, prevention and intervention science. He uses multilevel methodologies such as multimodal neuroimaging and neural modeling (e.g., fMRI, EEG, PET; dynamic causal modeling, machine learning, complex network, neuroinformatics), physiological (e.g., cortisol, sIgA, heart rate variability), interventional (e.g., attention training, mindfulness, exercise, neurofeedback, brain stimulation), psychosocial and epigenetic methods to study the mechanisms of core mental processes (e.g., self-control, emotion regulation, stress resilience, reinforcement learning, and decision-making) related to cognitive, physical and mental health and conscious/unconscious regulation and changes in healthy behavior, habit and lifestyles, and to develop and implement evidence-based training or interventions to prevent and ameliorate behavioral problems and mental disorders in health and patient populations over the lifespan.

He is the author of nine books, such as "The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation: How the Body and Mind Work Together to Change Our Behavior?" (Springer Nature, 2017), "Brain-Based Learning and Education: Principle and Practice" (Academic Press, Elsevier, 2018) and "The Neuroscience of Meditation: Understanding Individual Differences" (Academic Press, Elsevier, 2020). He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles such as Tang et al., PNAS, 2007 (citation ~2000); Tang et al., Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2015 (citation ~1900).

He has been a recipient of grants from the National Institute of Health, the John Templeton Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and multiple awards including NIH Cutting-Edge Basic Research Award, NIH Phased Innovation Award,  Complementary and Integrative Rehabilitation Medicine Research Award and a Presence Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.


Ph.D. Neuroimaging/Cognitive Neuroscience, Dalian University of Technology, China

Google Scholar

Research Group

Health Neuroscience Collaboratory


Representative peer-reviewed articles (Selected from > 300):

Tang YY, Holzel BK, Posner MI. The neuroscience of mindfulness meditation. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2015, 16(4): 213-225 [citation >1800] [Impact Factor >30]

Tang YY, et al. Short term meditation training improves attention and self regulation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 2007, 104 (43): 17152-17156 [citation >1900] [Impact Factor >9]

Tang YY & Posner MI. Attention Training and Attention State training. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2009, 13(5): 222-7 [citation >500] [Impact Factor >20]

Tang YY, et al. Central and autonomic nervous system interaction is altered by short term meditation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 2009, 106(22): 8865-70 [citation >700] [Impact Factor >9]

Brewer JA, Worhunsky PD, Gray JR, Tang YY, Weber J, Kober H. Meditation experience is associated with differences in default mode network activity and connectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 2011, 108(50): 20254-9. [citation >1200] [Impact Factor >9]

Representative Books (Selected from 9)

Tang YY. The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation: How the Body and Mind Work Together to Change Our Behavior? Springer Nature, 2017.

Tang YY. Brain-Based Learning and Education: Principle and Practice. Academic Press, Elsevier, 2018.

Tang et al. The Neuroscience of Meditation: Understanding Individual Differences. Academic Press, Elsevier, 2020. 

Research Activity

Ongoing RCT projects:

1.Brain Mechanisms of Reducing Polysubstance Use Following a Novel Body-Mind Intervention


2.Modulation effects of a novel body-mind intervention on subjective cognitive decline


3.Toward a Neural Model of Human Skill Learning