Science, Society and Governance


The Science, Society and Governance cluster in SSS brings together researchers interested in science and technology development, brain function, cognition, individual and/or social behaviors, society, and/or policy. It is a combination of the previous Cognition and Neuroscience Cluster and Science, Technology and Society Cluster. It hopes to generate research findings that can help boost societal welfare, wellbeing and technology advancement.

Cluster Coordinator

Xu Hong

Dr. Hong XU is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology in the School of Social Sciences since 2009. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Peking University, Master and Ph.D degrees in Statistics and Psychology from University of Chicago respectively. Her research interests include visual perception in human and non-human primates; human-computer interaction and computational modeling the neural network from vision to decision and action.​

Sabrina Luk Ching Yuen

Dr. Luk's research interests lie broadly in aging and healthcare reforms, e-government and governance in Asia, smart cities and cyber security, public administration, public policy analysis, and China studies. She was a recipient of the 2012 Michael O'Rourke PhD Publication Award at the University of Birmingham for her research contributions and publication record. She was also the Highly Commended Award Winner of the 2013 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Awards in the Healthcare Management Category.​

Cluster Members

​Alice Chan Hiu Dan​ ​Alice is interested in looking at the underlying cognitive and neuroanatomical mechanisms as well as the genetic bases of these culturally sensitive perceptual patterns and behaviors. Her current work also looks at possible neurophysiological realizations that would support the Whorfian hypothesis, with a specific interest in Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese, as well as bilingual and multilingual communities.
Annabel Chen Shen-Hsing
Annabel is currently investigating the neural substrates involved in healthy aging and higher cognition in the cerebellum. The goal of her research is to apply these paradigms to study the cerebro-cerebellar circuitry in clinical populations, to further understand the processes of neurodevelopmental (e.g. schizophrenia, dyslexia, autism) and neurodegenerative (e.g. dementia, healthy aging) conditions to inform and develop evidence-based interventions. 
Bao Te ​Te Bao is an assistant professor of economics at the Division of Economics, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He obtained his Ph.D in Economics in 2012 from CeNDEF, University of Amsterdam. His research interest includes experimental economics, bounded rationality, behavioral finance and real estate economics. His works are published in Economic Journal, European Economic Review, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Real Estate Economics and Research in Experimental Economics.
​Bobby Cheon​ ​Bobby’s research investigates how people conceptualize and navigate relations with fellow group members (in-groups) and people belonging to other groups (out-groups) in response to environmental pressures and demands. Towards this objective, he investigates how perceived threats from the environment influence and interact with neurobiological mechanisms to shape intragroup processes (e.g., empathy, cooperation, affiliation), intergroup processes (e.g., prejudice, in-group favoritism, discrimination), as well as cultural diversity in these group processes. He is also applying his research on culture, social experience, and group processes to study the social modulation of eating behaviors, appetite, and nutritional health.​
Charle​s Or

Charles's research focuses on visual perception of faces, motion, and form, using electrophysiology, psychophysics, and computational modelling as tools. Currently, he is investigating how face detection and face identification can be accomplished rapidly under various circumstances, such as varying viewing angles and the presence of colour, using a novel and objective paradigm of fast periodic visual stimulation during recording of high-density scalp electroencephalograms (EEG). He is also interested in studying cultural variations in visual perception.

Chou Meng-Hsuan​​ ​Hsuan's research interests lie at the intersection of public policy, regionalism, and international relations. Hsuan is currently researching how governments in Asia, Europe, and North America compete for talent in a globalised world, how scholarly networks are organised across time, and the emergence and evolution of higher education regionalisms.​
Christina Chua​ng

Christina’s  main interest is in the nature of moral judgments and the practicality of ethical theories. In particular, I am interested in developing a more holistic account of the nature of moral judgment that is based in both philosophy and psychology. 

​Christopher Cummings​​ ​Christopher is investigating how experts and members of the public come to make sense of uncertain and complex risk and health issues while unpacking how different forms of communication play critical roles in influencing decision-making processes.​
Francis C.K. Wong His current research focuses on studying, using techniques from brain imaging and artificial language learning paradigms, how speech processing is supported by a network of brain areas. 
​Gianluca Esposito​ Developmental Clinical Psychologist qualified to advance the ongoing investigations on child psychopathology contributing strengths in human electrophysiology and neuroimaging, complex data modeling, and comparative physiological assessment with the aim of studying typical and atypical development. Nanyang Associaite Professor Gianluca Esposito's specific focus is on the comparative physiology across mammalian species of mother-offspring interactions and their implication on psychopathology. 
​Gerrit Maus The Visual Perception Lab run by Nanyang Assistant Professor Gerrit Maus focuses on studies of visual perception and its underlying neural mechanisms, investigating how the brain is able to predict and fill in missing information. Some research projects investigate the role that eye blinks play for visual perception, cognition, and oculomotor control, others investigate filling-in and non-retinal perception. 
​Ho Moon-Ho Ringo ​Assoc Prof Ho Moon-ho's research interests are concerned with the development and application of quantitative methods, in particular, multilevel modeling, resampling methods, structural equation modeling, and time-series analysis in the neural and behavioral sciences. His current research work focuses on neuroinformatics research, in particular, the theoretical development and applications of multivariate time series analysis method for extracting meaningful information from complex brain imaging data.
Kenichi Ito​ ​Dr. Ito investigates the relationship between culture and the mind. On the one hand, members of a given culture acquire culturally-specific knowledge form their environment. On the other hand, they also recreate the environment from which new members of the culture acquire the knowledge. To investigate such two-way street, Dr. Ito investigates the distinct perceptual and cognitive patterns across different cultural groups and how these patterns are reflected in their environments.
​Luca Onnis ​​Luca Onnis's research interest includes Statistical learning, Cognitive Science, Computational modeling, Language acquisition, Language evolution and Brain plasticity.
Randy John LaPolla

My work on the intersection of Sino-Tibetan historical linguistics, pragmatics, and linguistic typology has led me to an understanding of communication that is based only on ostension (showing the desire to communicate) and

einferential ability is argued to be a natural survival instinct, used to understand the natural word, and also applied to understanding the motivations of other humans when they perform any action. Communication

is the application of this ability to situations where another person does something with the intention of having another person infer the motivations

for the action. Language is an emergent phenomenon, created in the process of trying to constrain the addressee’s inferential process. It is not a “thing”, but our memory of our experiences of our own and other people’s use of linguistic forms to constrain the interpretation. It becomes habit at the

personal level and convention at the societal level, so is not governed by logical rules but by conventions in the same way as our conventions of dress, eating, architecture, etc. This view entails that each language is unique, and necessarily reflects the cultural and cognitive categories (world view) of the speakers. I would like to develop a large multidisciplinary project to test this view of communicative behavior.

​Ryo Kitada ​Ryo Kitada studied cognitive neuroscience in Japan and Canada, completed his Ph.D in Human and Environmental Studies at Kyoto University in Japan. Then, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at Queen’s University in Canada. From 2008 to 2016, he worked as an assistant professor at National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS) Japan (tenured since 2014). He won the JPA Award for International Contributions to Psychology from the Japanese Psychological Association, an award given to distinguished young researchers in 2015. Since 2017, he is a Nanyang Associate Professor at NTU. His focuses of research are (1) to understand the mechanisms underlying multisensory perception and social cognition and (2) how innate and postnatal experience are interacted with each other to develop them. He uses both psychophysics and neuroimaging techniques to address these questions. He teaches Biological Psychology for undergraduate students and Neuroscience for graduate students
​Ng Yew Kwang ​Borned in 1942 in Malaysia, Professor Ng Yew-Kwang obtained his BCom from Nanyang University in 1966 BS his PhD from Sydney University in 1971. He was a professor of economics at Monash University 1985-1012 (and an emeritus professor since early 2013) and a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia since 1980. In 2007, he received the highest award (Distinguished Fellow) of the Economic Society of Australia. He just joined NTU as Winsemius professor in economics. He has worked in welfare economics, proposed mesoeconomics (a simplified general equilibrium analysis with both micro and macro elements) and welfare biology.​
​Ian Rowen ​​Ian Rowen is an Assistant Professor of Geography at Nanyang Technological University and Associate Researcher at the French Center for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC). He has been a postdoctoral fellow at Academia Sinica Institute of Ethnology (2016-2017), a Fulbright Scholar (2013-2014) and US National Science Foundation EAPSI and IGERT Fellow (2011-2012), and a visiting scholar at Fudan University and the University of Tübingen.​
​Setoh Pei Pei Assistant Professor Setoh Pei Pei is interested in how infants and toddlers make sense of the world around them, and what explanatory frameworks and learning mechanisms enable them to do so. Her research explores early conceptual development in three domains: biological, psychological, and sociomoral. Currently she is focusing on infants and toddler’s expectations about interactions within and between groups.

​Sulfikar Amir​ ​Sulfikar Amir is an Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society (STS) and a faculty member of Sociology Programme at the School of Social Sciences NTU. His research interests primarily focus on examining institutional, political, and epistemological dimensions of scientific knowledge and technological structures. He has conducted research on technological nationalism, development and globalisation, nuclear politics, risk and disaster governance, and city and infrastructure studies. 
​Sun Hsiao-Li Shirley​ ​Dr. Shirley Sun studies family, population, and genomic science and medicine in global contexts through the concepts of citizenship and "othering". She has special research interests in science, technology and society. Her latest publication is entitled “Socio-economics of personalised medicine in Asia” (2017, Routledge), where she draws on interviews with practicing physicians and medical research scientists in Asia about genome-based precision medicine.
​Suzy Styles ​Suzy Styles investigate how we develop systems of meaning which connect up words like “cat” and “dog” in a way that influences moment-to-moment language comprehension. She also investigate the interface between the sounds of words and their meanings, looking at how viewing a picture can trigger in the mind the idea of its name, and whether some pictures 'look more like' what they are called than others. She is also interested in how each person’s individual’s language experience contributes to their processing of natural language, with an interest in how different writing systems, and different sound systems shape perception and the underlying representation of language.

Victoria Leong Vik Ee ​Dr Victoria Leong (Vicky) is a developmental cognitive neuroscientist who is interested in the neuro-social processes that support learning during early life, such as the synchrony that naturally occurs between mothers and infants. She currently heads the Baby-LINC (Learning through Interpersonal Neural Communication) Lab at the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge where she uses concurrent electroencephalgraphy (EEG) with mothers and infants to study how mother-infant neural activity can become naturally synchronised during social interactions, and how this synchronisation could help babies to learn from their mothers.
Wang Jue ​Wang Jue is an Associate Professor of Public Policy and Global Affairs at NTU. She received her PhD in Public Policy from Georgia Tech. She also has her Master degree in Management and Bachelor degree in Biomedical Engineering. She was a research fellow in Fraunhofer Institute for System and Innovation Research (ISI) in Germany in 2005-2006 and an assistant professor of public administration at Florida International University in USA during 2008-2011. She does research in the field of research and innovation policy, and has published in Nature, Research Policy, Science and Public Policy, Small Business Economics, Journal of Cleaner Production, etc.
​​Yohanes Eko Riyanto Associate Professor Yohanes Eko Riyanto's current research is in the areas of Experimental and Behavioral Economics, and Applied Microeconomics. He is currently working on various topics investigating the economics of charitable giving using laboratory controlled and field experiments, social preferences, mechanisms to enhance cooperation and coordination in social dilemma settings, experimental asset markets, and many others. ​