Chi-Ming Chen

“My fellow labmates, ask not what the science can do for you, ask what you can do for the science.”

Fira, Santorini, Greece, 2005 Summer
28 APRIL 2006
View of Santorini, Greece, from Fira. Across the volcanic caldera, the Nea and Palea Kameni islands (middle right) have been volcanically active since 197 B.C. The Akrotiri peninsula (top left) was an area of major Bronze Age settlement that was destroyed but preserved by the Minoan eruption in the late 17th century B.C. See pages 548 and 565. Photo: Sturt Manning

Mansfield Center, CT, USA, 2016 Summer

Chi-Ming Chen, PhD

Assistant Professor

Clinical Psychology PhD Program

Department of Psychological Sciences

University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT 06269

chi-ming.chen (at)


Postdoc, Columbia University, 2010 (psychiatry)
Postdoc, Yale University, 2007 (psychiatry)
Ph.D., Yeshiva University, 2007 (clinical psychology)
B.S., National Cheng Kung University, 2000 (occupational therapy)

Honors and Awards

2014-2018 2013 NARSAD Young Investigator Award, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

2011-2012 Fall 2011 Faculty Large Grant Award, University of Connecticut

2010-2011 Pisetsky Young Investigator Award, Columbia University Medical Center

2010 NCDEU 50th Anniversary New Investigator Award, NCDEU 50th Anniversary Meeting

2009-2010 Imaging Core Pilot Award, the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Columbia University Medical Center

2008 Travel Award for “Navigating Your Way through a Successful Research Career”, NIMH

2004-2007 Educational Assistantship, Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc.

2003-2005 Bitensky Family Scholarship, Yeshiva University.

2002-2005 Ferkauf Graduate School Scholarship, Yeshiva University.

Doctoral Dissertation Findings

Chen, C.-M., Lakatos, P., Shah, A.S., Mehta, A.D., Givre, S.J., Javitt, D.C., & Schroeder, C.E. (2007). Functional anatomy and interaction of fast and slow visual pathways in macaque monkeys. Cerebral Cortex, 17: 1561-1569. PMID: 16950866

Summary: Current dynamic models of visual processing suggest that rapid inputs to higher order ventral stream regions modulate the processing of slower, more information-dense inputs. There is also an indication that the rapid “framing” inputs may not utilize standard feedforward pathways. To evaluate these propositions, we measured the timing, areal distribution, and laminar profile of fast, wavelength-insensitive and slower, wavelength-sensitive responses in V1 and extrastriate areas, using laminar current-source density analysis in awake macaque monkeys. There were two new main findings: 1) Wavelength-sensitive inputs in areas V1, V4, and IT cortex lagged the wavelength-insensitive responses by significant margins; additionally, this lag increased over successive levels of the system. 2) Laminar activation profiles in V4 and IT were inconsistent with feedforward input through the ascending ventral cortical pathway; the likely alternative input routes include both lateral inputs from the dorsal stream and direct inputs from nonspecific thalamic neurons.

Importance: Based on these results, a review in Nature Reviews Neuroscience (Pessoa & Adolphs, 2010) expressed that “we argue that visual pathways other than a colliculus–pulvinar–amygdala pathway carry out this role (see also REFs 68,69).” Another review titled “Visual Consciousness Revisited” (Tapia & Breitmeyer, 2011) stated: “According to a general “frame-and-fill” approach (Chen et al., 2007) to visual processing, the M channels responding to their preferred low-spatial-frequency content…this fast activation potentiates, or “frames,” the processing of the later arriving inputs along the slower ventral P pathway that carries the “fill” consisting of the detailed form and color- and luminance-contrast contents required to construct a high-resolution object representation (Chen et al., 2007).”

Postdoctoral Research Findings

Summary: During my post-doctoral trainings, I continued to pursue my goal of understanding interactive mechanisms among visual cortical areas in macaque monkeys. Our initial findings (Rajkai, et al., 2008) laid a foundation for describing saccade mechanisms across the visual system (Chen et al., in preparation). One of my post-doctoral research objectives was to learn how to translate physiological knowledge into early detection and treatments for neurophysiological disorders. In one project (expanded from my master’s thesis), we used scalp visual-evoked potentials to detect visual pathway malfunction to determine possible early glaucoma development (Zemon, et al., 2008). In another project, we were interested in testing the hypothesis that auditory hallucinations stem from the failure to generate an efference copy, which prepares the auditory cortex to distinguish self-generated speech or thought from externally generated language. We were able to test this hypothesis by analyzing electrocorticogram data from presurgical epilepsy patients. The results of this investigation provided evidence of a manifestation of an efference copy (Chen, et al., 2011). To further integrate a variety of measures and analyses, I led a project, supported by the Lieber Center for Schizophrenia Research and Treatment, to investigate a model positing causal relationships among prefrontal GABAergic abnormalities (measured via magnetic resonance spectroscopy), disordered neural synchrony (measured via topographical EEG), and impaired working memory (assessed via neurocognitive tasks).

Importance: My post-doctoral research focused on advancing the state of science in brain and behavior research through interdisciplinary research, ranging from basic to clinical topics. The field has supported the integration and translation of basic and clinical neuroscience research, and our research studies demonstrate the growing need for more basic and translational research that extends across traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Chinese-Speaking Schizophrenia Patients

Yang, L.H., Chen, S., Chen, C.-M., Khan, F., Forchelli, G., & Javitt, D.C. (2012). Schizophrenia, culture and neuropsychology: sensory deficits, language impairments, and social functioning in Chinese-speaking schizophrenia patients. Psychological Medicine, 42(7): 1485-1494. PubMed PMID: 22099474

Summary: This is the first study to evaluate auditory processing in tonal-language schizophrenia patients. Consistent with the priori prediction, schizophrenia patients were impaired in both basic tone processing and auditory word processing, with significant correlation between the two measures. Schizophrenia patients with auditory sensory impairments showed significantly worse social-occupational function than those with intact word recognition, suggesting a link between sensory impairment and overall functional outcome. Thus, while neurophysiological deficits associated with schizophrenia patients are likely the same across cultures, consequences of such deficits may be language and culture dependent.

Importance: This study pulls together different measures to ask cross-cultured questions about the sensory deficits and language processing impairments in schizophrenia. This is the first study to evaluate auditory processing in tonal-language schizophrenia patients. Based on the present findings, we hope to develop international collaborations on cross-cultured studies in schizophrenia. Most important of all, sensory and language processing impairments in schizophrenia are significant causes of social dysfunctions, thus understanding their etiology and identifying potential treatment targets could have a major impact on public health.

Teaching at UConn

Undergraduate Courses

PSYC 2100WQ: Principles of Research in Psychology (Fall Semesters)

PSYC 2300: Abnormal Psychology (Spring Semesters)

Graduate Courses

PSYC 5285: Neurobiology of Aging: Changes in Cognitive Processes

PSYC 5370: Current Topic-Neural Basis of Cognitive and Affective Processes

PSYC 5105: Foundations of Research in Psychological Sciences II (a.k.a. graduate school statistical sequence II)