Xiaoxiao Sun

PhD student

My early fascination with mathematics and a strong interest in bioengineering inspired me to apply for admission to one of the best biomedical engineering programs at Columbia University. I am interested in biomedical imaging, neural engineering, neuromodulation, and brain-computer interface (BCI). Much of my research is focused on using neuroimaging (such as EEG and fMRI) as well as other behavioral and physiological measures (e.g., eye-tracking) to understand the brain dynamics at rest and during decision-making. During my post-baccalaureate period, I worked as a research assistant at New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) to analyze decision-making tasks in at-risk children from low socioeconomic status (SES) families. After joining Columbia University as a graduate student, my research focuses on how to apply brain stimulation tools to modulate post-stimulation brain response. More specifically, my recent work is about integrating neurostimulation, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), as a potential tool for inferring causal relationships in these neural circuits (e.g., to increase neuroplasticity and brainwave entrainment). Under NIH and DoD funding, our group is building an integrated fMRI-EEG-TMS (fET) and EEG-rTMS instrument for probing neural circuits in humans and developing directed stimulation strategies for improving the efficacy of neurostimulation for the treatment of psychiatric diseases, such as major depressive disorder (MDD). Besides that, I’m also working on applying and developing data analysis tools for neuroimaging and physiological measures.


Featured Publication