Yu Liu

Associate Professor

Research Summary

I have a long-standing interest in the functional recovery of sensory and motor functions after brain injury, such as stroke. I have been exploring technologies that can improve the functional recovery in stroke patients. Specifically, how is the somatosensory input processed in the primary somatosensory, primary motor, and premotor areas when the input is actively used in guiding behavioral tasks?

Recently, we found that the timing of hippocampal sharp-wave ripple events is modulated by the respiratory cycle. These findings represent a possible neuronal mechanism for a direct influence of the respiratory cycle on memory function. We also found that cerebellum modulates the intrinsic rhythmicity of eupneic breathing in a way that would be consistent with a cerebellar role in coordinating the respiratory rhythm with other orofacial movements, such as swallowing. Another line of my research also points to a possible role of the cerebellum as a coordinator of rhythms. We recently published causal evidence for a cerebellar role in controlling the coherence of neural oscillations between prefrontal cortex and hippocampal CA1 region during the decision-making process in a spatial working memory task. In ongoing research, we continue to investigate neuronal mechanisms of cerebro-cerebellar interaction, focusing on the modulation of functional connectivity between forebrain areas.


PhD, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Major: Neuroscience
MS, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
Major: Neurophysiology
MD, College of Medicine, Southeast University, Nanjing, China
Major: Clinical Medicine

Fellowships, Residencies, and Visiting Engagements

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship,
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Memphis, Tennessee, United States

Professional Memberships

Society for Neuroscience



Department of Biomedical Sciences
1035 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812