​Joe Yazhuo Kong

Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Research Areas

Prof. Joe Yazhuo Kong graduated with a bachelor's degree from the Department of Automation at the University of Science and Technology of China, and obtained a PhD from the Department of Psychology at the University of Sheffield in the UK. He later worked on MRI research at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging of Oxford University for many years. In 2017, he returned to China to set up a research team, dedicated to spinal cord fMRI and pain neuroscience. He has published in high impact journals, including Brain, PNAS, Journal of Neuroscience, NeuroImage, Cerebra Cortex, Human Brain Mapping etc.

The Lab for Integrated NeuroImaging of Pain (LINIP) uses multimodal brain and spinal imaging to explore the neural mechanisms of complex somatosensory perception, pain empathy and social pain. The lab further explores the physiological and psychological mechanisms of chronic pain, then aims to develop effective pain relief strategies.


1996-2001 B.Eng, Department of Automation, University of Science and Technology of China 

2001-2005 PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, UK


1. Zhang, M., Zhang, Y., Zhu, Y., Lin, X., Zhi, Y., Zhu, Y., Shi, C. #, Kong, Y. #, 2023. Stigmatized experience is associated with exacerbated pain perception in depressed patients. Behav Res Ther 161, 104252.
2. Wu X, Lu X, Zhang H, Bi Y, Gu R, Kong Y#Hu L# (2022) Sex difference in trait empathy is encoded in the human anterior insula, Cerebral Cortex, 2022, bhac398
3. Zhang M, Yang Z#, Zhong J, Zhang Y, Lin X, Wang J, Cai H, Kong Y# (2022) The analgesic effect of nostalgia elicited by idiographic and nomothetic approaches on thermal stimulus. Ann N Y Acad Sci. doi:10.1111/nyas.14903
4. Wu X, Lu X, Zhang H, Wang X, Kong Y#, Hu L# (2022) The association between ballroom dance training and empathic concern: Behavioral and brain evidence. Hum. Brain Mapp. doi:10.1002/hbm.26042
5. Zhang M, Yang Z, Zhong J, Zhang Y, Lin X, Cai H#, Kong Y# (2022) Thalamocortical mechanisms for nostalgia-induced analgesia. Journal of Neuroscience, 1 March 2022, JN-RM-2123-21 (reported by CNN, The Guardians)
6. Li H, Li X, Wang J, Gao F, Wiech K, Hu L#Kong Y# (2022) Pain-related reorganization in the primary somatosensory cortex of patients with postherpetic neuralgia. Hum. Brain Mapp. doi:10.1002/hbm.25992
7. Cohen-Adad, J., Alonso-Ortiz, Kong Y. et al. 2021. Generic acquisition protocol for quantitative MRI of the spinal cord. Nature Protocol (2021) 16, 4611–4632
8. Zhang M, Zhang Y, Mu Y, Wei Z, Kong Y# 2021. Gender discrimination facilitates fMRI responses and connectivity to thermal pain. NeuroImage, 244, 118644.
9. Mariano R., Messina S., Roca-Fernandez A., Leite M.I., Kong Y. #, Palace J.A.#, 2020. Quantitative spinal cord MRI in MOG-antibody disease, neuromyelitis optica and multiple sclerosis. Brain. doi:10.1093/brain/awaa347
10. Li H., Li X., Feng Y., Gao F#., Kong Y#., Hu L., 2020. Deficits in ascending and descending pain modulation pathways in patients with postherpetic neuralgia. NeuroImage 117186. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117186
11. Kong Y., Okoruwa H., Revis J., Tackley G., Leite M.I., Lee M., Tracey I., Palace J., 2016. Pain in patients with transverse myelitis and its relationship to aquaporin 4 antibody status. J. Neurol. Sci. 368, 84–88.
12. Eippert F*., Kong Y.*, Winkler A.M., Andersson J.L., Finsterbusch J., Büchel C., Brooks J.C.W., Tracey I., 2016. Investigating resting-state functional connectivity in the cervical spinal cord at 3T. NeuroImage 147, 589–601.
13. Kong Y. *, Eippert F. *, Beckmann C.F., Andersson J., Finsterbusch J., Büchel C., Tracey I., Brooks J.C.W., 2014. Intrinsically organized resting state networks in the human spinal cord. Proc Natl Acad Sci 111, 18067–18072.