Speech, language, and Neuroscience Group

A joint research team of New York University Shanghai and East China Normal University,
in the field of cognitive neuroscience, focusing on speech, language, and other higher order human cognitive functions.

Research Interests

Speech perception and production

Visual word perception and language acquisition

Language comprehension and lateralization

Learning and memory (related to speech and language)


Qing Cai

Associate Professor at East China Normal University
(NYU-ECNU Institute of Brain and Cognitive Science)


Personal page

Xing Tian

Assistant Professor at New York University Shanghai
(NYU-ECNU Institute of Brain and Cognitive Science)


Personal page


Lily Tao


Xiaoluan Liu


Wenjia Zhang


Jinbiao Yang

Research Associate

Fan Bai

Research Associate

Qihui Xu

Research Associate


Shuai Wang

PhD Candidate

Bing Li

PhD Candidate

Shuang Geng

Master Candidate

Miaomiao Zhu

Master Candidate

Huangyuan Chen

Master Candidate

Ruiqing Zhang

Master Candidate

Jieying Feng

Master Candidate

Lingting Wang

Master Candidate


Defne Inhan


Siyi Fang


Tehreem Nihar


Xupu Zhang


Hao Zhu


Sainan Shi


Ou Ma



Rui Feng

Master(ECNU), now is working

Jinbiao Yang

Master(ECNU), now is RA(NYUSH)

Anna Zhen

RA(NYUSH), now at University Chicago

Danfeng Wu

Intern, now at MIT

Stella Yuan

Intern, now at Carnegie Mellon University


In Press

Van der Haegen, L., Acke, F., Vingerhoets, G., Dhooge, I., De Leenheer, E., Cai, Q.*, Brysbaert, M. (in press) Laterality and unilateral deafness: Patients with congenital right ear deafness do not develop atypical language dominance. Neuropsychologia.


Teng, X., Tian, X., & Poeppel, D.(2016). Testing multi-scale processing in the auditory system. Scientific Reports, 6, 34390. doi:10.1038/srep34390

Ding, N., Melloni, L., Tian, X., &Poeppel, D. (2016). Rule-based and word-level statistics-based processing of language: insights from neuroscience. Language,Cognition and Neuroscience, 1-6. doi: 10.1080/23273798.2016.1215477

Tian, X., Zarate, J.M., Poeppel, D.(2016). Mental imagery of speech implicates two mechanisms of perceptual reactivation. Cortex. 77, 1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2016.01.002

Ding, N., Melloni, L., Zhang, H., Tian,X., Poeppel, D. (2016). Cortical tracking of hierarchical linguistic structure in connected speech. Nature Neuroscience.19(1), 158-164.


Tian, X., & Poeppel, D. (2015). Dynamics of self-monitoring and error detection in speech production: evidence from mental imagery MEG. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 27(2), 352-364.

Leroy, F., Cai, Q., Bogart, S., Dubois, J., Coulon, O., Monzalvo, K., Fischer, C., Glasel, H., Van der Haegen, L., Benezit, A., Lin, C.P., Kennedy, D., Ihara, A.S., Hertz-Pannier, L., Moutard, M.L., Poupon, C., Brysbaert, M., Roberts, N., Hopkins, W., Mangin, J.F., Dehaene-Lambertz, G. (2015) A new human-specific brain landmark: The depth asymmetry of superior temporal sulcus. Proc Natl Acad Sci 112(4): 1208-1213.

Cai, Q.*, and Van der Haegen, L. (2015). What can atypical language hemisphericspecialization tell us about cognitive functions? Neurosci Bull 31(2): 220-226.

Zarate, J.M., Tian, X., Woods, K.J.P.,& Poeppel, D. (2015). Multiple levels of linguistic and paralinguistic features contribute to voice recognition. Scientific Reports. 5: 11475. doi: 10.1038/srep11475 (*equal contribution)


Van der Haegen, L., Cai, Q., Stevens, M.A., and Brysbaert, M. (2013). Interhemispheric communication influences reading behavior. J Cogn Neurosci 25(9): 1442-1452.

Greve, D.N., Van der Haegen, L., Cai, Q., Stufflebeam, S., Sabuncu, M.R., Fischl, B., and Brysbaert, M. (2013) A surface-based analysis of language lateralization and cortical asymmetry. J Cogn Neurosci 25(9): 1477-1492.

Cai, Q.*, Van der Haegen , L., and Brysbaert, M. (2013). Complementary hemispheric specialization for language production and visuospatial attention. Proc Natl Acad Sci 110(4): E322-330.

Vingerhoets, G., Alderweireldt, A.S., Vandemaele, P., Cai, Q., Van der Haegen, L., Brysbaert, M., and Achten, E. (2013). Praxis and language are linked: Evidence from co-lateralization in individuals with atypical language dominance. Cortex 49(1): 172-183.

Tian, X., & Poeppel, D. (2013). The effect of imagination on stimulation: the functional specificity of efference copies in speech processing. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 25(7), 1020-1036.

Luo, H., Tian, X., Song, K., Zhou, K., & Poeppel, D. (2013). Neural response phase tracks how listeners learn new acoustic representations. Current Biology. 23(11), 968–974.(*equal contribution)

Tian, X., & Huber, D.E. (2013). Playing ‘Duck Duck Goose’ with neurons: Change detection through connectivity reduction. Psychological Science.24(6), 819–827.


Brysbaert, M., Cai, Q., and Van der Haegen, L. (2012). Brain asymmetry and visual word recognition: Do we have a split fovea? In J. Adelman (Ed.): Visual Word Recognition, Volume 1: Models and Methods, Orthography and Phonology. Hove, UK: Psychology Press.

Tian, X., & Poeppel, D. (2012). Mental imagery of speech: linking motor and sensory systems through internals imulation. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 6:314. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00314

Van der Haegen , L., Cai, Q., and Brysbaert, M. (2012). Colateralization of Broca’s area and the visual word form area in left-handers: fMRI evidence. Brain Lang 122(3): 171-178.

Wu, J., Duan, H., Tian, X., Wang, P.,& Zhang, K. (2012). The effects of visual imagery on face identification: an ERP study. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 6:305. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00305


Van der Haegen, L., Cai, Q., Seurinck, R., and Brysbaert, M. (2011). Further fMRI validation of the visual half field technique as an indicator of language laterality: A large-group analysis. Neuropsychologia 49: 2879-2888.

Davelaar, E.J., Tian, X., Weidemann, C.T., & Huber, D.E. (2011). A habituation account of change detection insame/different judgments. Cognitive,Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 11,608-626.

Tian, X., Poeppel, D., & Huber, D.E. (2011). TopoToolbox: Using sensor topography to calculate psychologically meaningful measures from event-related EEG/MEG. Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience. 2011,doi:10.1155/2011/674605


Cai, Q.*, and Brysbaert, M. *(2010). *SUBTLEX-CH: Chinese word and character frequencies based on film subtitles. PLoS One 5(6): e10729. (Chinese word frequencies. Online search: http://crr.ugent.be/isubtlex_ch/)

Cai, Q.*, Paulignan, Y., Brysbaert, M., Ibarrola, D., & Nazir, T.A. (2010). The left ventral occipito-temporal response to words depends on language lateralization but not on visual familiarity. Cereb Cortex 20: 1153–1163.

Tian, X., & Poeppel, D. (2010). Mental imagery of speech andmovement implicates the dynamics of internal forward models. Front. Psychology, 1:166. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00166

Tian, X., & Huber, D.E. (2010). Testing an associative account of semantic satiation. Cognitive Psychology,60, 267-290.


Rosazza, C., Cai, Q., Minati, L., Paulignan, Y., and Nazir, T.A. (2009). Early involvement of dorsal and ventral pathways in visual word recognition: An ERP study. Brain Res 1272: 32-44.


Cai, Q.*, Lavidor, M., Brysbaert, M., Paulignan, Y., and Nazir, T. A. (2008). Cerebral lateralization of frontal lobe language processes and lateralization of the posterior visual word processing system. J Cogn Neurosci 20: 672-681.

Tian, X., & Huber,D.E. (2008). Measures of spatial similarity and response magnitude in MEG andscalp EEG. Brain Topography, 20,131-141.

Huber, D. E., Tian, X., Curran, T., O’Reilly, C, & Woroch, B. (2008). The dynamics of integration and separation: ERP, MEG, and neural network studies of immediate repetition effects. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 34,1389-1416.



EEG/MEG topographic analyzer (author: Xing Tian, David Poeppel, and David E. Huber)

TopoToolbox is an open-source software for topographic analysis on the event-related electrophysiological (EEG/MEG) data based on the method proposed by Tian and Huber (2008; 2011). TopoToolbox provides a tool for researchers to directly derive robust measures of response pattern (topographic) similarity and psychological meaningful response magnitude using electromagnetic signals in sensor space. These measures are useful for testing psychological theories without anatomical descriptions.

View detail Download


Chinese word corpus (author: Qing Cai and Marc Brysbaert)

These are the Chinese word frequencies discussed in the Plos ONE article of Cai & Brysbaert, which you find here. The article explains what is in the files. So, this will not be repeated here.

Tutorial Paper Visit Website


Chinese character database (author: Jinbiao Yang and Qing Cai)

The database contains various information of more than 20,000 Chinese characters. You can filter, extract the characters on any rule as your need, and then download them.

View Detail Visit Website


Psychological experiment framework (author: Jinbiao Yang)

Expy is an easy-yet-powerful experiment framework builder for psychology. It's aimed at setting up an experiment without struggling with the manual production of stimuli, data loading and storing, or the other time-consuming works, by using various module functions. Expy is designed for psycholinguistic experiments, but it's also suitable for any other experiments.

View Manual View Code (Github)


EEG data analyzer (author: Jinbiao Yang)

You can use a concise string to describe the timepoint(s), condition(s), channel(s) you want to analyse. Calling only one function is enough to produce results and figures. It supports ERP, GFP, Topography plot, TANOVA, MVPA, Clustering, and other channel-based or global-field-based analysis methods. Also, it enables you to try out your own method with little effort, since MEEG is designed as an open-source platform.

View Manual View Code (Github)


All photos


Postdoctoral fellows

Multiple positions are available. Information on applying (http://shanghai.nyu.edu/about/work/fellowships). Job inquires can be sent to the PIs

Prospective graduate students

Two ways to join our lab, either via NYU Neuroscience Doctoral Program Shanghai Track or ECNU Brain and Cognitive Science Graduate Program Track. Detailed information can be found at (http://neuro.shanghai.nyu.edu/graduate). Prospective students are encouraged to contact the PIs.

Research assistants/associates

Positions are available for post-graduate students who hold Bachlor's or Master’s degrees and are looking for more research experience. Candidates are encouraged to contact the PIs.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities/Interns

Our group is open to motivated undergraduates who interested in conducting independent research on human cognitive functions, including speech, language, learning, memory and other higher order cognitive functions. Such research opportunitiescan be taken during semesters or breaks. Please send your CV, description of your research interests, and a copy of unofficial transcripts to the PIs.