About > About Prof. Yi-Yuan Tang

Prof. Tang is a neuroscientist and psychologist, his research covers the topics including mindfulness meditation, cognitive control, emotion regulation, training self-control and executive function, attention, creativity, wisdom, working memory, cultural influences on math, language and self-regulation, conscious and unconscious learning, sense of self, changing behavior and habit, gene-experience interaction, mood disorders, addiction, stress related disorders including PTSD and TBI, etc. Prof. Tang was born in China and started eastern traditional practice and training when he was very young and learned different body-mind methods and techniques from more than 20 teachers.He has been a long-term practioner in ancient tradition and lineage including Traditional Chinese Medicine, meditation, Tai Chi, martial arts and I Ching.


He has been working at the universities since he got the first faculty position in 1987. He has been a full Professor of Neuroinformatics, Neuroscience and Psychology, and the founding director and director of the first Institute of Neuroinformatics and Laboratory of Body and Mind in Chinese university since 2001. He is also the adjunct professor at the Center for Social & Organizational Behavior, Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, the adjunct professor at Key Laboratory for Mental Health, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the adjunct professor at PLA General Hospital (301 Hospital), etc. Dr. Tang then moved to the University of Oregon, USA as a research professor working with Dr. Michael Posner on training attention and self-regulation. He is now the founding Director of Texas Tech Neuroimaging Institute, Presidential Endowed Chair in Neuroscience and Professor at Department of Psychological Sciences and Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University, USA.


Prof. Tang has been internationally known in the use of functional MRI to examine brain connectivity in cognitive task and found cultures shape math processing in the brain (Tang etal, PNAS, 2006),and his series of research in mindfulness mechanism and application (Tang etal, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2015). Based on the results from many adults and chilProfen ranging from 4 to 90 years old in China, Prof. Tang developed Integrative Body-Mind Training (IBMT) in the 1990’s and its effects studied in China since 1995. His recent results indicated that IBMT is an easy, effective way for improvement in self-regulation in cognition, emotion and social behavior within 5 days of training (Tang etal, PNAS, 2007). IBMT improves attention and self-regulation by changing the interaction between the central (brain) and the autonomic (body) systems as indexed by ACC theta power and high frequency HRV correlation (Tang etal, PNAS, 2009). Eleven hours of IBMT induces white matter changes in the anterior cingulate in the brain. Thus, IBMT could provide a means for improving self-regulation and perhaps reducing or preventing various mental disorders (Tang etal, PNAS, 2010). Recent research also indicated the mechanisms of white matter changes induced by IBMT (Tang et al, PNAS, 2012). Brief IBMT can reduce smoking and decrease craving (Tang et al, PNAS, 2013; Tang et al, TICS, 2015). IBMT is a state training technique compared to the computerized network training (Tang et al, TICS, 2012) , such as working memory training ( Tang et al, TICS, 2014 ).


Prof. Tang is APS Fellow (Association for Psychological Science) and APA Fellow (American Psychological Association). He received New Century Excellent Talents Awards from Ministry of Education in China, Distinguished Teaching Awards and Mentor Award for Graduates from university, etc. He has published 6 books and more than 260 peer-reviewed articles including Nature Reviews Neuroscience,Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Neuroimage, Human Brain Mapping, Progress in Brain Research, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Child Development Perspectives, Neurocomputing, Neural Networks, Pattern Recognition Letters, Brain Research, Neuroscience Letters, Experimental Neurology, Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Life Science, Psychiatry Research, Stress and Health, Physica A, NeuroReport, etc., and these findings are reported in the scientific journals including Nature, Science, Nature Review Neuroscience, Neuron, TICS, PNAS, etc., and popular media including TIME, New York Times, BBC, NPR, ScienceDaily, The Press Association, Reuters, USA today, NBC, CBC, Fox, etc.


Prof. Tang is the Associate Editor of Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience (SCAN). He edited a SCAN Special Issue on mindfulness neuroscience in 2012 (Tang et al, 2012a, 2012b). He serves as reviewers for over 60 jounrals including Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Human Brain Mapping, Neuroimage, Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience,Psychoneuroendocrinology, Cerebral Cortex,Developmental Science, JAMA, Neuropsychologia, Biological Psychiatry, Biological Psychology, Brain, Behavior and Immunity, Behaviour Research and Therapy, Neuroinformatics, Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, Physiology & Behavior, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Learning and Individual Differences, Neuropsychology Review, etc. His research has received support from NSFC, MOST, MOE in China and AP Foundation, Bower Foundation, Templeton Foundation, NIH, ONR in USA.


Prof. Tang’s research applies the tools of neuroimaging (fMRI, PET/SPECT, ERP), psychosocial and physiological measures (heart rate variability, skin conductance, etc) as well as genetic analysis and covers the topics in cultural neuroscience, cognitive, affective and social neuroscience, developmental and educational neuroscience, body-mind medicine, prevention science, computational neuroscience and neuroleadership. He is the founder of the Integrative Body Mind Training (IBMT) and has trained many thousands children and adults to improve the attention, self-regulation, performance and relationhsip,see Achievement link.