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General Introduction

Agnes Suiyin Chan is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is a clinical neuropsychologist and has been a professor in the Clinical Psychology Program in the Department of Psychology for about 30 years. She is also the Director of the Research Center for Neuropsychological Well-Being.  She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 1995.


One of her research interests is the study of ways to optimize brain function (i.e., how to keep brain function at an optimal level). Another research interest is cognitive impairment associated with various brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Autism and innovative interventions to improve cognitive function. She has published over a hundred journal articles and regularly publishes his research results in top-ranking journals, including Nature. The BBC, ABC and The New York Times have reported on her research.


Professor Chan received the Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association for her contribution to brain science research and development. Professor Chan was selected as one of the ten outstanding young people in Hong Kong in 2003. She has been named to several honorary positions at overseas universities, including an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan-Ann Arber and a consultant at the UC San Diego Alzheimer's Research Center. She was an associate editor of the Journal of  Neuropsychology and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the International Society of Neuropsychology. She is the author of the Hong Kong List Learning Test, a commonly used clinical assessment for memory in Hong Kong.




她的研究興趣之一是研究優化大腦功能的方法,即如何將大腦功能保持在最佳水準。 另一個研究興趣是各種腦部疾病相關的認知障礙(例如腦退化、自閉症)和改善認知功能的創新干預方法。 她發表超過一百篇期刊文章;  經常在海外頂級期刊,包括 《自然》,上發表研究結果 。英國廣播公司(BBC)、美國廣播公司(ABC)和《紐約時報》也報導了她的研究。


陳教授獲美國心理學會頒發早期成就獎以表揚她對腦科學研究及發展的貢獻,陳教授2003年獲選香港十大傑出青年之一。她被任命為多個海外大學榮譽職位,包括密歇根大學安亞伯分校的兼職教師和加州大學聖地牙哥分校阿爾茨海默病研究中心的顧問。 她曾是《神經心理學》學術期刊的副主編和《國際神經心理學會學術期刊》的編輯委員會成員。 她是香港一個常用臨床記憶評估《香港文字記憶測試》的作者。

Research Statement



One of Prof. Chan's research interests is to study ways to optimize brain function, that is, how to keep or improve brain function at the best performance level.  These research findings are applicable to clinical intervention, education, and human resource in business.   That is, optimizing the brain functions of patients with brain disorders can improve their cognitive abilities and emotion, optimizing the brain function of children can improve their learning and academic performance, and optimizing the brain function of working forces in the company can improve productivity and creativity of the company.  This research interest led her to study lifestyle medicine and brain stimulation.  She has developed the Chanwuyi lifestyle medicine program and have conducted research to evaluate its impact on cognitive and psychological functions (Chan et al., 2009, 2011, 0212, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021). Her research findings suggest that this program positively improves the memory, psychological and physical health of older adults, adults, and children.  The Chanwuyi lifestyle medicine program was certified by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine in 2021.  Her recent interest has extended to investigate the impact of photobiomodulation on improving the memory of older adults with mild cognitive impairment (Chan et al., 2019, 2021, 2021) and to study the eye-tracking technology on improving frontal lobe function (Lee et al., 2020, 2021),  The results so far are encouraging. 


Prof. Chan has been interested in the early detection of dementia for over 20 years.  One early approach she had adopted in studying this topic was modeling the semantic network of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Using multidimensional scaling methods and pathfinder analyses, I delineated the possible connection between patients’ cognitive deterioration and pathological neural changes (Chan et al., 1993, 1993, 1995, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1998, 2001).   She received the Rennick Award in 1992 and the Edwin Newman Award in 1994 for this line of research.  Recently,  she and her research team have investigated the potential of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) as a possible biomarker for the early detection of mild cognitive impairment (Yeung et al., 2016a and 2016b, Yeung & Chan, 2020, Yeung & Chan, 2021) and the hemodynamic changes associated with memory tasks seems to be a potential approach.


She has been interested in studying memory and the brain.    Besides studying the memory of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, she has studied patients with unilateral or bilateral temporal lobe damage resulting from radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (Chan et al., 2004; Cheung et al., 2000, 2003).  Her findings showed that radiotherapy may cause the development of edema or cysts in some patients, thereby impairing their cognitive functions. She and her research team then explored possible ways to improve the cognitive functions of this group of patients and found that patients who took Vitamin E for one year demonstrated significant memory improvements (Chan et al., 2004). 


She also interested in investigating the effects of early-life experience on the development of cognitive functions and their relation to neuroanatomical changes. For example, based on the finding that musicians tended to have enlarged left, but not right, planum temporales when compared with nonmusicians, she and her research team proposed and found that individuals with music training tended to have better verbal, but not visual, memory than those without such training (Chan et al., 1998, Ho et al., 2003). The study, published in Nature, provided suggestive evidence that early-life experience may systematically affect cognitive functions through neuroanatomical changes.  Along this line of research interest, she has studied the behavioral problem of children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) from the neuropsychological perspective.  They have utilized EEG (Chan et al., 2011, Han et al., 2013, Yeung et al., 2014, Yeung et al., 2016, Han et al., 2017), and fNIRS (Yeung et al., 2019, Krishnamurthy et al., 2020) to examine the prefrontal cortex and the inhibitory control of ASD children.  They also examine some interventions to improve the behavioral problems of children with special educational needs, including the lifestyle medicine approach and eye-tracking computerized training (Lee et al., 2021).   


Prof. Chan has obtained over HKD 23 million (21 million as a primary investigator) external funding to conduct my research.  I have published over one hundred journal articles and about ten books.  She has published articles in internationally respected journals such as Nature, Digital Health, Brain Stimulation and Neuropsychology.  She has published over one hundred articles with about 70 Q1 level publications.  She was awarded the Early Career Award in Neuropsychology from the American Psychological Association-Division 40 in 2004. In addition, she was appointed to several honorary positions by respected overseas institutions, including San Diego State University, the University of California at San Diego, and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  Furthermore, she served as an associate editor or editorial board member in several scientific journals including the Journal of International Neuropsychological Society, Neuropsychology, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Journal of Clinical Medicine, and Lifestyle Medicine. Besides, she has been invited to conduct workshops and seminars internationally including at Harvard University and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.


Apart from research, she has also interested to transfer her knowledge to society.  She developed the Hong Kong List Learning Test (HKLLT) in 1997, an ecologically validated verbal memory test in Hong Kong.  The HKLLT has been made available to the clinical profession and academics since 2006 and has been used by most public hospitals and government institutions and some research settings for over 15 years.   She has written nine books for the general public and established a YouTube channel (the highest view video is 70,000).  She founded the Hong Kong Neuropsychological Association in 1998 for promoting Neuropsychology in Hong Kong and Asia.   In addition, she established the Pro-talent Association Ltd. in 2003 with start-up funding support from the Chinese University of Hong Kong to make our research output available to children with special education needed. 



陳教授研究興趣之一是探研優化大腦功能的方法,即是如何將大腦功能保持在最佳狀態。 這些研究結果適用於臨床干預,教育訓練和商業人力資源。  例如,刺激腦部疾病患者的大腦功能可以提高他們的認知能力和情緒,優化兒童的大腦功能可以提高他們的學習和學業成績,優化公司工作人員的大腦功能可以提高公司的生產力和創造力。 這科研興趣促使她研究生活方式醫學和大腦刺激方法。  陳教授編制了禪武醫生活方式醫學計劃,並進行研究評估其對認知和心理功能的影響(Chan等人,2009,2011, 0212,2013,2014,2017,2018,2020, 2021)。 研究結果表明,該計劃可以改善老年人,成人和兒童的認知功能,記憶力,心理和身體健康。 禪武醫生活方式醫學專案於二零二一年獲得美國生活方式醫學院認證。 此外,陳教授也研究光生物調節對改善輕度認知障礙老年人記憶力的影響(陳等人,2019,2021,2021, 2023 ),並研究眼動追蹤技術對改善額葉功能的影響(李等人,2020,2021, 2022),到目前為止,結果令人鼓舞。


陳教授研究癡呆症的早期診斷評估已經三十多年了。  她早期在研究這個主題時採用神經網络建模,解釋和預測阿爾茨海默症的病態發展。 使用多維縮放方法和探路者分析,描繪了患者認知惡化與病理神經變化之間可能存在的聯繫(Chan等人,1993,1993,1995,1995 ,1997,1998,1998,2001)。  這項研究讓她於一九九二年獲得了倫尼克獎,並於一九九四年獲得了埃德溫· 紐曼獎。 最近,陳教授和她的團隊研究功能性近紅外光譜(fNIRS)作為早期檢測輕度認知障礙的生物標誌物的潛力(楊等人,2016, 楊和陳,2020,楊和陳,2021,李等人 2023)。


陳教授一直對研究記憶和大腦感興趣。  除了研究阿爾茨海默病患者的記憶外,她還研究了鼻咽癌放射線療法引起的單側或雙側顳葉損傷的患者(陳等人,2004;  張等人,2000,2003),陳教授的研究結果表明,放射治療可能導致某些患者出現水腫或囊腫,從而損害他們的認知功能。 然後,陳教授和她的團隊探索了改善這組患者的認知功能的可能方法,發現服用維生素E一年的患者表現出顯著的記憶改善(陳等人,2004)。


陳教授還有興趣研究早期生活經驗對認知功能發展的影響及其與神經解剖學變化的關係。 陳教授和她的團隊一九九八發表在《自然》雜誌上的研究提供了初步的證據,表明早期生活經驗可能通過神經變化影響認知功能。 沿著這研究興趣,她們從神經心理學的角度研究了自閉症譜系障礙兒童的行為問題。 利用腦電圖(陳等人, 2011, 韓等人, 2013, 楊等人, 2014 , 楊等人, 2016, 韓等人, 2017)和功能性近紅外光譜(楊等人,  2019, Krishnamurthy et al. , 2020)來檢查自閉症兒童的前額葉皮層和抑制性控制。  她們還研究了一些干預措施,以改善需要特殊教育的兒童的行為問題,包括生活方式醫學方法(Chan等人,2009,2011,0212 ,2013,2014,2017,2018,2020,2021 )和眼動追蹤培訓(李等人,2021)。


除了研究,她還有興趣將自己的知識傳授給社會。 她於一九九七年開發了香港文字記憶測試(HKLLT),這是香港一項經過生態驗證的語言記憶測試。 香港文字記憶測試自二零零六年起提供給臨床專業和學者,並已被大多數公立醫院和政府機構以及一些研究機構使用超過十五年。  她為公眾寫了九本書,並建立了一個YouTube頻道(觀看次數最高的視頻是七萬)。 她於一九九八年成立香港腦功能心理學會,在香港和亞洲推廣腦神經心理學。  此外,她於二零零三年在香港中文大學的啟動資助下成立了慧能,為有特殊教育需要的兒童提供基於腦科學發現的訓練。

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