She received her Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from Tsinghua University in 2002 and PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the Institute of Psychology of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2008. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at New York University during 2008 and 2014. She joined Peking University in 2014 as Principal Investigator at the School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, PKU-IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences.

Research Interest

Every life is a series of decisions. Even a bee needs to balance the rewards a flower provides and the uncertainty that it may contain nothing. Following a decision-theoretic approach, I study a wide range of problems in perception, action, and cognition. The central question is: How does the brain represent and compute uncertainty in decision-making? I use psychophysics and computational modeling, and will integrate brain-imaging techniques, to seek an understanding from behavior, to computational algorithm, to neural basis.

List of Publications


Hao Y#, Li X#, Zhang H*, Ku Y* (2021) Free-Recall Benefit, Inhomogeneity and Between-Item Interference in Working Memory. Cognition.

Teng T, Li S*, Zhang H* (2021) The virtual loss function in the summary perception of motion and its limited adjustability. Journal of Vision.

Ren, X, Luo H*, Zhang H* (2021) Automatic and fast encoding of representational uncertainty underlies the distortion of relative frequency. Journal of Neuroscience.

Zhang H*, Ren X, Maloney LT (2020) The bounded rationality of probability distortion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Wang M, Huang Y, Luo H, Zhang H* (2020) Sustained visual priming effects can emerge from attentional oscillation and temporal expectation. Journal of Neuroscience.

Lu H, Yi L*, Zhang H* (2019) Autistic traits influence the strategic diversity of information sampling: insights from two-stage decision models. PLoS Computational Biology, 15(12):e1006964.

Sun J, Li J*, Zhang H* (2019) Human representation of multimodal distributions as clusters of samples. PLoS Computational Biology, 15(5): e1007047.

Song M, Wang X, Zhang H*, Li J* (2019) Proactive information sampling in value-based decision-making: deciding when and where to saccade. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 13: 35.

Ren X, Wang M, Zhang H* (2018) Context effects in the judgment of visual relative-frequency: trial-by-trial adaptation and non-linear sequential effect. Frontiers in Psychology, 9: 1691.

Ding N, Melloni L, Zhang H, Tian X, Poeppel D (2016) Cortical tracking of hierarchical linguistic structures in connected speech. Nature Neuroscience, 19, 158-164.

Zhang H, Daw ND, Maloney LT (2015) Human representation of visuo-motor uncertainty as mixtures of orthogonal basis distributions. Nature Neuroscience, 18, 1152-1158.

Zhang H, Kulsa MKC, Maloney LT. Acquisition, Representation and Transfer of Models of Visuo-Motor Error. 2015, Journal of Vision, 15(8).

Zhang H, Paily JT, Maloney LT. Decision from models: Generalizing probability information to novel tasks. 2015, Decision, 2(1).

Zhang H, Daw ND, Maloney LT. Testing Whether Humans Have an Accurate Model of Their Own Motor Uncertainty in a Speeded Reaching Task. 2013, PLoS Computational Biology, 9(5).

Zhang H, Morvan C, Etezad-Heydari L-A, Maloney LT. Very slow search and reach: Failure to maximize expected gain in an eye-hand coordination task. 2012, PLoS Computational Biology, 8(10).

Zhang H, Maloney LT. Ubiquitous log odds: a common representation of probability and frequency distortion in perception, action, and cognition. 2012, Frontiers in Neuroscience, 6(1).

Zhang H, Morvan C, Maloney LT. Gambling in the visual periphery: A conjoint-measurement analysis of human ability to judge visual uncertainty. 2010, PLoS Computational Biology, 6(12).

Maloney LT, Zhang H. Decision-theoretic models of visual perception and action. 2010, Vision Research, 50(23).

Zhang H, Maddula SV, Maloney LT. Planning routes across economic terrains: Maximizing utility, following heuristics. 2010, Frontiers in Psychology, 1, Article 214.

Zhang H, Wu S-W, Maloney LT. Planning multiple movements within a fixed time limit: The cost of constrained time allocation in a visuo-motor task. 2010, Journal of Vision, 10(6).

Zhang H, Xuan Y, Fu X, Pylyshyn ZW. Do objects in working memory compete with objects in perception? 2010, Visual Cognition, 18(4).