Sooyoung Chung

Principal Investigator

Neural Circuits for Sensation and Perception

Ph.D. Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA.

MA & BA  Seoul National University, Korea


Contact: +82-2-958-6954 (phone)

              +82-2-958-6937 (fax)



               Korea Institute of Science and Technology L7-7303

               Seongbuk-gu Hawolgok-2-dong 39-1

               Seoul 136-791, Korea

The brain is the most complex organ known to exist in nature. The sheer number of neurons, the diversity of neuronal types, different transmitters used, and sub-cellular elements such as spines, synapses, ionic conductance & their location produce a daunting number of potential functional states for the brain to have, given that we assume random and exhaustive connections among neurons. In reality, however, the connections are not random. The brain is wired in a specific way that allows it to do what it does. The study of connections of the brain, therefore, is one of the crucial ways to understand the mechanisms of brain functions such as perception and cognition.

My research interests are to reveal such neuronal connections & circuits as a mechanism for sensation/perception. In the past I have studied connections from thalamus to the sensory cortices in vivo. Currently Im focusing on the study of intra-cortical circuits in vivo, using a combination of electrophysiological and imaging techniques. A part of my research interests covers a reality check of the known perceptual rules in awake behaving animals.



Lee, C., Chung, S., Kim, J., and Park, J. (1991)  Auditory-facilitation of visually-guided saccades, Society for Neuroscience Abstract 17:862.

Ferster, D., Chung, S., and Wheat, H. (1996)  Orientation selectivity of thalamic input to simple cells of cat visual cortex, Nature, 380: 249-252. [PDF / News & Views by Hubel]

Chung, S. and Ferster, D.  (1998)  Strength and orientation tuning of the thalamic input to simple cells revealed by electrically evoked cortical suppression, Neuron, 20: 1177-1189. [PDF]

Hempel, C.M., Sugino, S., Chung, S. and Nelson, S.B.  (2000)  Multi-unit spike-triggered averaging: a method for probing synaptic physiology in the vertebrate CNS, Society for Neuroscience Abstract 23:1967.

Chung, S., Li X., and Nelson S.B. (2002)  Short-term depression at thalamocortical synapses contributes to rapid Adaptation of cortical sensory responses in vivo. Neuron, 34: 437-446. [PDF / preview by Nicolelis]

Van Hooser, S.D, Heimel, J.A., Chung, S., Nelson, S.B., and Toth, L.J. (2005)  Orientation selectivity without orientation maps in visual cortex of a hightly visual mammal. Journal of Neuroscience, 25: 19-28. [PDF]

Ohki, K, Chung, S, Chng, Y.H., Kara, P., and Reid, R.C. (2005)  Functional imaging with cellular resolution reveals precise micro-architecture in visual cortex. Nature 433: 597-603. [PDF]

Van Hooser, S.D., Heimel, J.A., Chung, S., and Nelson, S.B. (2006)  Lack of patchy horizontal connectivity in primary visual cortex of a mammal without orientation maps. Journal of Neuroscience 26(29): 7680-7692. [PDF]

Ohki, K., Chung, S., Kara, P., Hbener, M., Bonhoeffe, T., and Reid, R.C. (2006)  Highly ordered arrnagement of single neurons in orientation pinwheels. Nature 442:925-928. [PDF]