YiYuan Tang

DTPHX Campus
DTPHX Campus


Yi-Yuan Tang has an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural background, experience, and expertise in the areas of cognitive, affective, cultural, developmental and health neuroscience and psychology, health sciences, prevention and intervention science. He uses multilevel methodologies such as multimodal neuroimaging and neural modeling (e.g., fMRI, EEG, PET; dynamic causal modeling, machine learning, complex network, neuroinformatics), physiological (e.g., cortisol, sIgA, heart rate variability), interventional (e.g., attention training, mindfulness, exercise, neurofeedback, brain stimulation), psychosocial and epigenetic methods to study the mechanisms of core mental processes (e.g., self-control, emotion regulation, stress resilience, reinforcement learning, and decision-making) related to cognitive, physical and mental health and conscious/unconscious regulation and changes in healthy behavior, habit and lifestyles, and to develop and implement evidence-based training or interventions to prevent and ameliorate behavioral problems and mental disorders in health and patient populations over the lifespan.

He is the author of nine books, such as "The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation: How the Body and Mind Work Together to Change Our Behavior?" (Springer Nature, 2017), "Brain-Based Learning and Education: Principle and Practice" (Academic Press, Elsevier, 2018) and "The Neuroscience of Meditation: Understanding Individual Differences" (Academic Press, Elsevier, 2020). He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles such as Tang et al., PNAS, 2007 (citation >2000); Tang et al., Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2015 (citation >1900).

He has been a recipient of grants from the National Institute of Health, the John Templeton Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and multiple awards including NIH Cutting-Edge Basic Research Award, NIH Phased Innovation Award,  Complementary and Integrative Rehabilitation Medicine Research Award and a Presence Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.


Ph.D. Neuroimaging/Cognitive Neuroscience, Dalian University of Technology, China

Currently Accepting Undergraduate and Graduate Research Assistants

Spring 2022 Teaching: EXW 494/598 SHS 494/598 Health Neuroscience 

Google Scholar

Research Group

Health Neuroscience Collaboratory


Representative peer-reviewed articles (Selected from > 300):

Tang YY, Holzel BK, Posner MI. The neuroscience of mindfulness meditation. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2015, 16(4): 213-225 [citation >1900] [Impact Factor >30]

Tang YY, et al. Short term meditation training improves attention and self regulation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 2007, 104 (43): 17152-17156 [citation >2000] [Impact Factor >9]

Tang YY & Posner MI. Attention Training and Attention State training. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2009, 13(5): 222-7 [citation >500] [Impact Factor >20]

Tang YY, et al. Central and autonomic nervous system interaction is altered by short term meditation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 2009, 106(22): 8865-70 [citation >700] [Impact Factor >9]

Brewer JA, Worhunsky PD, Gray JR, Tang YY, Weber J, Kober H. Meditation experience is associated with differences in default mode network activity and connectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 2011, 108(50): 20254-9. [citation >1200] [Impact Factor >9]

Representative Books (Selected from 9)

Tang YY. The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation: How the Body and Mind Work Together to Change Our Behavior? Springer Nature, 2017.

Tang YY. Brain-Based Learning and Education: Principle and Practice. Academic Press, Elsevier, 2018.

Tang et al. The Neuroscience of Meditation: Understanding Individual Differences. Academic Press, Elsevier, 2020. 

Research Activity

Ongoing RCT projects:

1.Brain Mechanisms of Reducing Polysubstance Use Following a Novel Body-Mind Intervention


2.Modulation Effects of a Novel Body-mind Intervention on Subjective Cognitive Decline


3.Toward a Neural Model of Human Skill Learning



The Complementary and Integrative Rehabilitation Medicine Research Award, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine

NIH/NCCIH Phased Innovation Award

NIH/NIDA Cutting-Edge Basic Research Awards

Barnie E. Rushing Outstanding Researcher Award


Associate Editor, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN)

Associate Editor, Frontiers in Neuroimaging

Academic Editor, PloS One

Editorial Board, Journal of Integrative Neuroscience

Editorial Board, Psychology of Consciousness


Professional Associations

Fellow of Association for Psychological Science (APS)

Fellow of American Psychological Association (APA)


Federal Agencies:

NIA Standing Committee Member

NICHD Standing Committee Member

NIDA and NCCIH Special Panel Member

DoD Special Panel Member

NASA Special Panel Member

NSF Special Panel Member

External Evaluator for Faculty Tenure & Promotion: 

Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of California at Davis, Virginia Commonwealth University, Texas A&M University, University of Massachusetts, University of Missouri,  University of Haifa