Jing Zhang


Ph.D., Cognitive Sciences (expected 2023)
M.S. Cognitive Neuroscience, University of California, Irvine (2020)
B.S. Psychology, Furman University, (2016)


I study the function of sleep, specifically how sleep helps us to learn and remember things.


It always fascinates me that we spend a third of our lives sleeping but we have no idea why. I am a graduate student in cognitive neuroscience at the Sleep and Cognition Lab (PI: Sara Mednick). My research interests include cognitive processing and autonomic activities during sleep, with an overarching goal to understand why we sleep and dream. Outside of the lab, I enjoy eating good food and going to movies.

Why is science communication important to you personally?

The deeper I dive into science, the more discrepancies I see between scientific findings and public knowledge. Some research findings are explained poorly without much context, other research findings never reached the public. These discrepancies affect many aspects of our lives, from daily decision-making to public policies. There is an urgent need to bridge this gap, and that is what science communication can do. In the journal of becoming a scientist, it is my responsibility to communicate research findings well, so it is understood by a broad audience. After all, a scientific discovery is only as good as its communication.


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