Yi-Yuan (一源) in Chinese means One-Source. Prof. Tang is a neuroscientist and psychologist, his research covers the topics in cultural, cognitive, affective, social, developmental and educational neuroscience and psychology, body-mind medicine, prevention science and neuroscience of leadership. For example, these include 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, addiction, mood disorders, stress related disorders and aging. 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.
He has been working at the universities since he got the first faculty position in 1987. He has been a Full Professor and Founding Director/Director of the first Institute of Neuroinformatics and Laboratory of Body and Mind in China. 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). Dr. Tang moved to the University of Oregon, USA as a research professor working with Dr. Michael Posner on training attention and self-regulation in 2007. He is now the Founding Director of Texas Tech Neuroimaging Institute, Presidential Endowed Chair in Neuroscience and Full Professor at Department of Psychological Sciences and Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University, USA.
Prof. Tang has been internationally known in the use of brain imaging to examine brain connectivity in cognitive tasks 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 , 2016). Prof. Tang developed the Integrative Body-Mind Training (IBMT®) in the 1990’s and studied its effects. His research indicated that IBMT® is an easy, effective way for improvement in self-regulation in cognition, emotion and social behavior within 5 sessions 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). About 5-10 hours of IBMT® induces white matter changes in the brain self-control networks (Tang etal, PNAS, 2010 , 2012). Thus, IBMT® could provide a means for improving self-regulation and perhaps reducing or preventing various mental disorders. For example, brief IBMT® can reduce smoking to 60% and decrease craving (Tang etal, PNAS, 2013; Tang etal, TICS, 2015). Prof. Tang proposed two types of training techniques – state training such as IBMT® and network training such as computerized working memory program (Tang etal, TICS, 2012 , 2014 ).
Prof. Tang is an APS Fellow (Association for Psychological Science) and APA Fellow (American Psychological Association). He received New Century Excellent Talents Awards from Ministry of Education, Distinguished Teaching Awards and Mentor Award for Graduates. He has published 6 books and over 280 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, Brain Research, Neurocomputing, Neural Networks, Neuroscience Letters, Experimental Neurology, Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Life Science, Psychiatry Research, Stress and Health, Physica A, NeuroReport, and these findings are reported in the scientific journals including Nature, Science, Nature Review Neuroscience, Neuron, TICS, PNAS, and popular media including TIME, New York Times, BBC, NPR, ScienceDaily, The Press Association, Reuters, Cell Press, USA today, NBC, CBC, Fox, etc.
Prof. Tang is the Associate Editor of Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience (SCAN). He proposed a new field – mindfulness neuroscience on SCAN Special Issue (Tang et al, 2012). He also serves as reviewers for over 60 prestigious journals including Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Trends in Cognitive Sciences. His research has received support from NSFC, MOST, MOE in China and AP Foundation, Bower Foundation, Templeton Foundation, NIH and DoD/ONR in the USA.
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 and masters. He has been a long-term practitioner in ancient tradition and lineage including Traditional Chinese Medicine, meditation, Tai Chi, Qigong, martial arts and I Ching. He is the founder of the Integrative Body Mind Training (IBMT®) and has trained many thousands children and adults in China, USA and Europe to improve the attention, self-regulation, performance and relationship.
Upcoming books by Prof. Tang
Tang YY. 2016. Brain Based Learning and Education: Principle and Application. Academic Press, Elsevier
Tang YY. 2016. The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation–How Body-Mind Work Together to rewire brain and change behavior?
Palgrave Macmillan, Nature Publishing Group