Zhao, Xinyu

PI, IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Tsinghua University
PI, Tsinghua-Beijing Universities Center for Life Sciences
Assistant Professor, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University
Address :
Biomedical Building Room B404, Tsinghua University, Beijing
Lab Website:
https://zhaolab.mystrikingly.com (VPN required)

[Research Focus]

How does the brain learn? With a combination of experimental and computational approaches, we primarily focus on two questions: 1. What is the algorithm that updates connection weights between neurons during learning? 2. How does a neural network transfer its previously learned knowledge to new tasks? We will investigate these questions in mice with multi-disciplinary technologies, including electrophysiology, imaging, optogenetics, computational neuroscience, and machine learning. We believe in a positive feedback loop between experimental and computational studies, which will eventually facilitate both the understanding of the brain and the development of novel artificial intelligent systems.

[Education & Experience]

2022-present     Assistant Professor, School of Life Sciences,Tsinghua University
2022-present     PI, IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research at Tsinghua University,Tsinghua-Beijing Universities Center for Life Sciences
2014-2021         Postdoctoral Associate/Research Scientist, Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, U.S.A.
2009-2014         Ph.D., Northwestern University, U.S.A.
2007-2009         Master of Science, Tsinghua University
2003-2007         Bachelor of Science, Tsinghua University

[Selected Publications]

  • Zhao X*, Hsu CL* and Spruston N. Rapid synaptic plasticity contributes to a learned conjunctive code of position and choice-related information in the hippocampus. Neuron. 2022. 110(1):96-108
  • Sun W*, Zhao X* and Spruston N. Bursting potentiates the neuro–AI connection. Nature Neuroscience. 2021. 24:905-906
  • Zhao X, Wang Y, Spruston N & Magee J. Membrane potential dynamics underlying context-dependent sensory responses in the hippocampus. Nature Neuroscience. 2020. 23(5):881-891
  • Zhao X*, Liu M* and Cang J. Visual Cortex Modulates the Magnitude but Not the Selectivity of Looming-Evoked Responses in the Superior Colliculus of Awake Mice. Neuron. 2014. 84(1):202-213  
  • Zhao X, Chen H, Liu X and Cang J. Orientation-selective Responses in the Mouse Lateral Geniculate Nucleus. Journal of Neuroscience. 2013. 33(31):12751-63  
  • Zhao X, Liu M and Cang J. Sublinear binocular integration preserves orientation selectivity in mouse visual cortex. Nature Communication. 2013. 4:2088.