Ying Choon Wu is interviewed at the STEM Summit 2012.
Ying Choon Wu
Ying Choon Wu is a project scientist at the Institute for Neural Computation at UC San Diego. Her research examines how we negotiate complex activities related to learning, including holding conversations, "getting" jokes, solving math problems, and playing games. In particular, her work has focused on the relationship between sensori-motor and so-called higher cognitive functions. For instance, in discourse, we often use gestures to depict information related to the talk in progress, as in the case of mentioning a table while indicating its round shape by tracing a circle in the air. Using a combination of behavioral and neuroimaging methods, Dr. Wu has demonstrated that listeners integrate online the analogue information in depictive gestures with propositional information conveyed through speech to arrive at enhanced message-level understanding. This work has led to a career grant funded by the National Science Foundation to study individual differences in speech-gesture integration. Dr. Wu also specializes in the use of state of the art EEG brain imaging techniques to investigate cortical network dynamics during naturalistic activities, such as playing math or working memory card games. She has published in a number of journals including the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Brain and Language, Psychophysiology, Neuroreport, and Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. She completed a Ph. D. in Cognitive Science at University of California, San Diego in 2006, and an M. A. in Applied Linguistics at University of California, Los Angeles in 2000. Post-doctoral work was performed at the Center for Research in Language and the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience at UC San Diego. She is a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, as well as several NIH training grants.