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Dongyu Gong

DPhil Candidate

  • Brain & Cognition Lab (Nobre Lab)


Dongyu is a DPhil (PhD) student in Cognitive Neuroscience supervised by Kia Nobre and Dejan Draschkow, and is funded by Clarendon Scholarship, Medical Research Council (MRC) Doctoral Training Partnership, and New College-Yeotown Scholarship. Before graduate school, Dongyu obtained his BSc degree from Tsinghua University with the highest distinction.

During his undergraduate years, Dongyu was also engaged in research at UC Berkeley (David Whitney), VU Amsterdam (Jan Theeuwes), and Harvard Medical School (Jeremy Wolfe).


Our brain is extraordinary at matching incoming visual signals to past experiences stored in the memory, which guides our attention and allows us to behave flexibly and adaptively based on predictions and expectations. On the other hand, attention also guides the encoding of information into memory and the retrieval of information from memory.

However, the neural mechanisms underlying these fascinating aspects of human cognition remain unclear. Dongyu's research focuses on the neural basis of how human attention and memory interact, using a combination of functional MRI, EEG/MEG, computational modelling, eye tracking and human psychophysics techniques.

Besides human intelligence, Dongyu is also interested in machine intelligence. The advent of large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT and GPT-4 has propelled the pursuit of artificial general intelligence, however, there is no consensus as to how the intelligence of LLMs should be evaluated. Dongyu aims to use theories and tools in cognitive sciences to evaluate the intelligence of LLMs and compare them with humans. This will offer crucial insights into the current progress in designing AI systems with human-level cognitive abilities and hold promise for informing future endeavours aimed at enhancing the cognitive abilities of AI and understanding human cognitive abilities through AI models.