Yuan Chang Leong
Department of Psychology and the College
Yuan Chang Leong studies how one’s goals, desires, and needs shape how one perceives and responds to the physical and social world. One can imagine playing a heated tennis match and hitting a shot that might or might not have just grazed the sidelines. Would one’s motivation to win make one more likely to see the ball as having stayed within bounds? Most people can think of times when they or people they know were biased to see what was desirable, rather than what was really there. How does this happen, and what can be done about it? Leong examines questions like these using a combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging, computational modeling, psychophysics, physiological measures, eye tracking, and naturalistic task paradigms. He also directs the Motivation and Cognition Neuroscience Lab in the Department of Psychology.
His work has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Human Behavior, Neuron, Nature Neuroscience, Psychological Science, the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, and the Journal of Neuroscience.
Leong received his AB in psychology from Princeton University and his PhD in psychology from Stanford University. He completed his postdoctoral training at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellow.