Shan Yu

Shan Yu, Ph. DShanYu


Brainnetome Center and National Laboratory of Pattern Recognition
Institute of Automation 

Chinese Academy of Sciences
Beijing 100190, P. R. China

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The fundamental challenge for systems neuroscience is to explain functions of the brain by studying neuronal activities. While a huge amount of knowledge has been accumulated regarding the behavior of single neurons, it is still far from clear how the brain achieves its remarkable feat as an organ of information processing, as well as how its functions are interrupted in various pathological conditions. To fill such an explanatory gap, we need to understand how numerous neurons, often with different response properties, can form an orchestrated network to perform computation, and how such computation is regulated according to the behavioral context. To develop such an intermediate-level description of neuronal information processing is my long-term goal. To this end, my research combines highly parallel electrophyiological recordings from macaque brain and advanced computational/theoretical approaches (e.g., network theory, information theory, statistical mechanics, etc) to investigate the structure and operation of neuronal networks, with focuses on understanding both how the brain works in normal conditions and the network mechanisms underlying major mental disorders.   




2005    Ph. D in Biology         University of Science and Technology of China

2000    B.S. in Biology           University of Science and Technology of China



Work Experience


From    2014       Professor at the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

2008 – 2014       Postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health, USA

2005 – 2008       Postdoctoral researcher at the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, Germany



Publications  (Google Scholar Page )


1.     Yu S, Yang H, Shriki O, Plenz D. (2014) Critical exponents, universality class, and thermodynamic "temperature" for the brain.  In Criticality in Neural Systems, edited by Plenz D and Nieber E. Wiley-VCH

2.     Yu S*, Yang H*, Shriki O, Plenz D. (2013) Universal organization of resting brain activity at the thermodynamic critical point. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 7:42. (* equal contribution)

3.     Larremore D, Shew W, Yu S, Plenz D, Ott E, Sorrentino F, Restrepo J. (2013) Inhibition guarantees ceaseless cortex network dynamics. preprint arXiv:1307.7658

4.     Folias SE, Yu S, Snyder A, Nikolić D, Rubin JE. (2013) Synchronisation hubs in the visual cortex may arise from strong rhythmic inhibition during gamma oscillations. European Journal of Neuroscience 38 (6), 2864-2883

5.     Fu Y*, Yu S*, Ma Y, Wang Y, Zhou Y. (2013) Functional degradation of the primary visual cortex during early senescence in rhesus monkeys. Cerebral Cortex 23(12): 2923-2931  (* equal contribution)

6.     Yu S, Yang H, Nakahara H, Santos, G.S, Nikolić D, Plenz D. (2011) Higher-order interactions characterized in cortical activities. Journal of Neuroscience 31(48):17514-17526

7.     Yu S, Nikolić D. Quantum mechanics needs no consciousness.  (2011) Annalen der Physik, 523(11): 931–938

8.      Havenith MN, Yu S, Biederlack J, Chen N, Singer W, Nikolić D. (2011) Synchrony makes neurons fire in sequence, and stimulus properties determine who is ahead. Journal of Neuroscience 31(23):8570-8584

9.     Shew WL, Yang H, Yu S, Roy R, Plenz D. (2011) Information capacity and transmission are maximized in balanced cortical networks with neuronal avalanches. Journal of Neuroscience 31(1):55-63.

10.   Klaus A, Yu S, Plenz D. (2011) Statistical analyses support power law distributions found in neuronal avalanches. PLoS ONE 6(5):e19779

11.   Jurjuţ OF, Nikolić D, Singer W, Yu S, Havenith MN, Mureşan RC. (2011) Timescales of multineuronal activity patterns reflect temporal structure of  visual stimuli. PLoS ONE 6(2):e16758.

12.   Hahn G, Petermann T, Havenith MN, Yu S, Singer W, Plenz D, Nikolić D. (2010) Neuronal avalanches in spontaneous activity in vivo. Journal of Neurophysiology 104(6):3312-22.

13.   Havenith MN, Zemmar A, Yu S, Baudrexel SM, Singer W, Nikolić D. (2009) Measuring sub-millisecond delays in spiking activity with millisecond time-bins. Neuroscience Letters 450:296-300

14.   Yu S, Huang D, Singer W, Nikolić D. (2008) A small world of neuronal synchrony. Cerebral Cortex 18(12):2891-2901

15.   Yu S, Wang Y, Li X, Zhou Y, Leventhal AG. (2006) Functional degradation of extrastriate visual cortex in senescent rhesus monkeys. Neuroscience 140(3):1023-1029

16.   Yu S, Wang XS, Fu Y, Zhang J, Ma YY, Wang YC, Zhou YF. (2005) Effects of age on latency and variability of visual response in monkeys. Chinese Science Bulletin 50(11):1163-1165

17.   Liu N, Yu S, Zhou Y, Cai J, Ma Y. (2005) Age-related effects of bromocriptine on sensory gating in rhesus monkeys. Neuroreport 16(6):603-606

18.   Yu S*, Liu N*, Zeng T, Tian S, Chen N, Zhou Y, Ma Y. (2004) Age-related effects of bilateral frontal eye fields lesions on rapid eye movements during REM sleep in rhesus monkeys. Neuroscience Letters 366(1):58-62 (* equal contribution)



Professional services


Review Editor for:

Frontiers in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Frontiers in Fractal Physiology


Reviewer for:

Entropy, Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, Journal of Complex System, Journal of Neuroscience, Physics Letters A, PLoS Computational Biology, Zoological Research

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