Zirui Huang, Ph.D.

Michigan Neuroscience Institute Affiliate
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology

Center for Consciousness Science
Domino Farms Lby M
Ste 3100, Rm. 2154

Ann Arbor MI 48105-5737



Dr. Huang has a multidisciplinary background including psychology, biology, cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging. He earned his Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. After his Ph.D., he continued his research for two postdoc periods at the University of Ottawa and the University of Michigan. To-date, he has published 49 scientific articles. Among those, 21 first/co-first author articles that have been published in Science Advances, Cell Reports, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, The Journal of Neuroscience, Cerebral Cortex, NeuroImage, etc. He also serves as Ad Hoc Reviewer for 30+ prestigious scientific journals, such as Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Advanced Science, Molecular Psychiatry, The Neuroscientist, etc. He has funding support from an ongoing NIH RO1 grant on which he serves as key personnel (R01 GM103894-09).

Areas of Interest

Dr. Huang’s primary research interest is in investigating the neural substrates of consciousness. He studies the mechanistic role of large-scale brain networks in conscious cognition and its alteration by pharmacologic, neuropathologic and psychiatric manipulations using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Honors & Awards

  • Conference Travel Award, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada (2015)
  • Institute Chief Award & Excellent Student Leader, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China (2012)
  • Institute Chief Award, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China (2010)


  • Ph.D., Cognitive Neuroscience, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • B.S., Biology/Biological Sciences, General, Department of Biology, China Agriculture University, Beijing, China

Published Articles or Reviews

  • Huang Z, Tarnal V, Vlisides PE, Janke EL, McKinney AM, Picton P, Mashour GA, Hudetz AG. Asymmetric neural dynamics characterize loss and recovery of consciousness. Neuroimage. 2021 Aug 1;236:118042. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8310457.
  • Huang Z, Tarnal V, Vlisides PE, Janke EL, McKinney AM, Picton P, Mashour GA, Hudetz AG. Anterior insula regulates brain network transitions that gate conscious access. Cell Rep. 2021 May 4;35(5):109081. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8157795.
  • Huang Z, Zhang J, Wu J, Mashour GA, Hudetz AG. Temporal circuit of macroscale dynamic brain activity supports human consciousness. Sci Adv. 2020 Mar;6(11):eaaz0087. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7065875.
  • Huang Z, Liu X, Mashour GA, Hudetz AG. Timescales of Intrinsic BOLD Signal Dynamics and Functional Connectivity in Pharmacologic and Neuropathologic States of Unconsciousness. J Neurosci. 2018 Feb 28;38(9):2304-2317. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5830518.

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