Korea University’s Behavioral Cognitive Neuroscience program encompasses the range from biological psychology to cognitive psychology and is the only program in the domestic psychology field that specializes in brain science.
It examines various cognitive processes, such as perception, attention, memory, emotion, language, and decision-making, and employs various neuroscientific approaches, from electrophysiology methods in animals to brain imaging methods in humans. There are currently six professors in charge of studying the fields listed below.
Cho, Yang Seok Professor
Professor Cho analyzes behavioral characteristics and brain responses in humans to determine which characteristics of cognitive mechanisms are related to attention and cognitive control.
In other words, he studies the characteristics of cognition control, role of attention, variables affecting the attention process, and how cognitive processing changes to adapt to the task environment or context. In response selection, another one of his major research areas, he investigates how response selection differs depending on the task goal and stimulus type among alternative responses to stimuli and the underlying cognitive mechanism.
He also examines the human factors that contribute to people’s convenience using different products based on how they perceive and respond to stimuli.
Choi, June-Seek Professor
Professor Choi studies the cognitive and emotional mechanisms of animals by developing robotic animal models and uses intracerebral drug injections and neuronal activity recording to examine study reward calculation and value-mapping circuits during conflicts.
His other research areas include the mathematical description and prediction of animal learning and defensive behaviors, the use of the self-developed fear learning model to determine different defensive behaviors caused by gender and hormonal cycle, and the effect of traumatic experiences on fear stimuli processing.
Jo, Yong Sang Assistant Professor
In biopsychology or behavioral neuroscience, a study on mice investigates the functional connection and working principle between specific brain regions and behaviors.
Assistant Professor Jo performs laboratory tests to determine the “midbrain dopamine system’s effect on the extinction of fear memory,” “extinction of addictive behavior using the neural circuit of pain,” and “effect of the lateral habenula on the quantity and quality of sleeping states.”
His brain-behavioral research methodology includes observing the behavior of animals after administering drugs, genetic manipulation, optochemical manipulation, and recording neural activity in living animals.
Kim, Chai-Youn Professor
How do the sensory organs (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and skin) create experiences for us? What is this ability’s neural basis?
Professor Kim studies visual perception and its interactions with other senses, focusing on the nerves. In addition, she studies the perceptual processing of basic information (e.g., points, lines, colors, and tones), information with social meaning (e.g., faces, gestures, and voices), and complex artistic information (e.g., art and music).
Her research leads to industrial and social research applications, such as design centered on human perception.
Kim, Hackjin Profession
Can we define human emotions biologically?Professor Kim’s goal is to understand the biological mechanisms of various emotions and behaviors in social context, including the need for approval, self-esteem, empathy, morality, group conflict, and altruism. For this goal, his lab uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and computational modeling techniques.Social Neuroscience, Decision Neuroscience, Neuroeconomics, Self-Esteem, Empathy, Morality, AltruismSocial neuroscience, Decision neuroscience, Neuroeconomics, Self-esteem, Empathy, Morality, Altruism
Nam, Kichun Professor
Compared to other cognitive psychology disciplines, language psychology has yet to be properly established in Korea. To address this issue, Professor Nam conducts further comprehensive research on Korean language processing.
He also researches AI, specifically for projects related to emotional engineering (e.g., sentiment measurement and standardization technology for content functionality evaluation).
In addition, his more recent study is about improving brain function and the effects of combining Information Technology (IT) with socialization.