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Our research aims at understanding how we remember and forget about our past experiences, and the neurocognitive processes supporting these memory dynamics. One fundamental assumption of this research is that memory plays a central role in shaping our preferences and beliefs, and in guiding our judgments and behaviors. Our research aims to elucidate how motivational, emotional and cognitive processes may influence memory processes. Of particular interests, we consider sleep as an indispensable component to complete our understanding of memory.

We mostly employ EEG, behavioral and online studies in our research. If you are interested in learning more about us and about our research, please find our lab members and publications here.

Some exemplar questions we are currently investigating are:


Figure by T. Xia

Leverage sleep to manipulate memories

  • How does sleep sculpture different aspects of memory?
  • How to bias (emotional) memory processing during sleep?

  • Featured Publications:

    Xia et al., (2023). Targeted memory reactivation during sleep influences social bias as a function of slow-oscillation phase and delta power. Current Biology.

    Zeng, Lin et al., (2021). Sleep’s short-term memory preservation and long-term affect depotentiation effect in emotional memory consolidation: Behavioral and EEG evidence. Sleep.

    Hu et al. (2020). Promoting memory consolidation during sleep: A meta-analysis of targeted memory reactivation. Psychological Bulletin, 146(3), 218-244.


    Figure by X. Lin

    Memory control and motivated forgetting

  • How to control and forget unwanted memories?
  • How to cope with unpleasant or traumatic experiences?
  • What memory processes may go awry among psychopathologies?

  • Featured Publications:

    Varma, Chen et al., (2023). Prosocial behavior promotes positive emotion during the COVID-19 pandemic. Emotion.

    Xie et al. (2023). Emotion regulation promotes forgetting of negative social feedback: Behavioral and EEG evidence. Acta Psychologica Sinica

    Hu et al. (2017). Suppressing unwanted memories reduces their unintended influences. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26(2), 197-206.

    How people form new attitudes or change their existing attitudes

  • Why are we optimistic (and sometimes not)?
  • How are we making decisions in social groups?
  • How psychological distress influences ethical decision makings?
  • How to reduce unintentional prejudice and stereotypes?

  • Featured Publications:

    Jin et al. (2023). Attitudinal Effects of Stimulus Co-occurrence and Stimulus Relations: Sleep Supports Propositional Learning Via Memory Consolidation. Social Psychological and Personality Science

    Yao et al. (2021). Optimistic amnesia: How online and offline processing shape belief updating and memory biases in immediate and long-term optimism biases. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience

    Hu et al. (2015). Unlearning implicit social biases during sleep. Science, 348(6238), 1013-1015.

    Contact Us

    Social & Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory
    Room 6.80, 6/F,
    Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus,
    The University of Hong Kong,
    Hong Kong, S.A.R. China
    Dr. Xiaoqing Hu
    Associate Professor

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