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  • Society for Neuroscience (SfN)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS)
  • British Neuroscience Association (BNA)
  • British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS)
  • Voice of Young Science (VoYS)
Short Description


  • Learning and Neuroplasticity
  • Neurotechnologies
  • Translational Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Enhancement
  • Numerical cognition

Chung Yen Looi

BSc (Hons) MEd (Distinction)

Cohen Kadosh Lab

  • Co-Founder of Psychology and Neuroscience Applications Society (PsyNAppS)
  • Graduate Research Assistant

Research Summary

RESEARCH summary

Whether to survive or to thrive, the ability to learn and acquire cognitive skills is a fundamental aspect of human existence. I am interested in how learning works and how we can improve this capacity in humans. 

My research focuses on cognitive training and enhancement in both typical and atypical populations. I conduct experiments that involve the use of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) during cognitive training (video/app game) to understand how neuroplasticity can be modulated to enhance learning and cognitive performance. 

Currently, I am also researching on how individual differences influence the gain from learning through such neuromodulation (cognitive training in combination with NIBS), and how we can generate long-lasting cognitive enhancement efficiently.

Overall, this line of work offers the potential to transform the way humans learn across the lifespan and to push the boundaries of human cognitive performance. This work is funded by the Wellcome Trust, British Academy and Leverhulme Trust.

Awards & Grants

  • EPA Cephalosporin Scholarship (Oxford) for outstanding translational research in the biomedical sciences.
  • Organisation of Human Brain Mapping Travel Award 2014 Internationally competitive award for top abstract submissions based on the quality of scientific content.
  • Linacre College Travel Grant
  • Guarantors of Brain Travel Grant

Public Engagement

  • Stephen Hawking's 'Brave New World Series 2 on Discovery Channel and National Geographic (
  • Wonder Street Fair (Wellcome Trust funded) @The Festival of Neuroscience (British Neuroscience Association)
  • Big Bang Fair, ExCel (London)
  • Brain Awareness Week (Oxford)
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Looi, C.Y. et al (In press) Transcranial random noise stimulation and cognitive training to improve learning and cognition of the atypically developing brain: A pilot study. Scientific Reports

Looi, C.Y. et al (2016) Combining brain stimulation and video game to promote long-term transfer of learning and cognitive enhancement. Scientific Reports (6) 22003

Looi, C.Y. and Cohen Kadosh, R. (2016) Brain stimulation, mathematical and numerical training: Contribution of core and non-core skills. In Cappelletti, M. and Fias, W. Eds. The Mathematical Brain Across the Lifespan (1st Edition). Progress in Brain Research

Dowker, A., Sarkar, A. and Looi C.Y. (2016) Mathematics anxiety: what have we learned in 60 years? Frontiers in Psychology. 7:508. 1-16. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00508

Looi, C.Y. and Cohen Kadosh, R (In press) Dyscalculia. In B. Hopkins, E. Geangu and S. Linkenauger, Eds. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Child Development (2nd Edition).

Looi, C.Y. et al (2016) The Cognitive Neuroscience of Mathematical Learning. Expert review for the Organisation for Economic Co-­operation and Development (OECD)

Looi C.Y. & Cohen Kadosh, R. (2015) The Use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation for Cognitive Enhancement, Cognitive Enhancement: Pharmacologic, Environment and Genetic Factors, Eds. Knafo, S. and Venero, C. (Elsevier)

Krause, B., Looi, C.Y. and Cohen Kadosh, R. (2014) Transcranial Electrical Stimulation to Enhance Cognitive Abilities in the Atypically Developing Brain for The Stimulated Brain 1st Edition, Ed. Cohen Kadosh, R. (Elsevier)



I studied Neuroscience BSc (Hons) at King's College London, University of London (2010). During my final year of BSc, I taught Science to primary and secondary school children under the Student Associate Scheme by the Institute of Education, University of London and volunteered with the National Autistic Society, UK. Together, these experiences inspired me to explore the relationship between brain, mind and education.

I later completed my MEd in Psychology of Education at the University of Bristol (2011), a programme accredited by the British Psychological Society. My MEd dissertation was on 'Simple arithmetic use in 8-11 year old children of differing age groups using the operand recognition paradigm' where I worked in schools in London and Bristol. During my Masters, I also had the opportunity to work with Dr. Tim Jay on 'Investigating individual differences in adult numerical reasoning' and Dr. Paul Howard Jones on 'Competing in uncertainty: a cognitive approach' at the Graduate School of Education.

I am now working on 'Harnessing neuroplasticity via cognitive training and non-invasive brain stimulation in typical and atypical populations', a transdiciplinary line of research integrating Neuroscience, Psychology and Education with Prof. Roi Cohen Kadosh.  

Invited/Selected Talks

Modulating neuroplasticity in the atypically developing brain to enhance learning and cognition@ The Organisation of Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) [Travel Award] (Hamburg, Germany, 2014)

Modulating neuroplasticity to enhance maths learning and cognition: From Lab to School @The Centre of Educational Neuroscience, University of Birbeck (London, UK, 2014)

The Educational Potential of Transcranial Electrical Stimulation @The Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol (Bristol, UK, 2014)

Harnessing Neuroplasticity for Education via Neuromodulation @The Wellcome Trust and Education Endowment Foundation, Neuroscience and Education: What's The Potential (London, UK, 2013)

Stimulating the brain while playing a computer-based maths game to enhance domain-specific and domain-general cognitive abilities @The 5th International Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Conference (Leipzig, Germany, 2013)