Hung-Tu Chen

address: 6207 Moore Hall Hanover, NH 03755


2018 - present Dartmouth College

PhD Candidate, Psychological and Brain Sciences

Advisor: Matthijs (Matt) van der Meer

  • Thesis: Robust and generalizable representations in the hippocampus

2015 National Tsing Hua University

B.A., Economics

Research Experience

2018 - present Dartmouth College

Graduate Research Assistant

  • Developed statistical and machine learning methods to study the role of hippocampal neural representations in supporting generalization, including the cross-subject similarity in encoding related experiences and the representational geometry underlying fear generalization.
  • Investigated the role of replay in reshaping task representation and maintaining robust task performance in the brain and neural networks.
  • Established data collection and signal processing pipeline for simultaneous recordings of in vivo electrophysiology and fiber photometry.

summer 2022 Center for Computational Neuroscience, Simons Foundation

Summer Research Associate (PI: Alex Williams)

  • Optimized methods for aligning neural data and investigated necessary conditions to derive identifiable Procrustes transformations across neural representations.

2016 - 2018 New York University Shanghai

Research Assistant (PI: Jeffery Erlich)

  • Designed a sequential decision-making task and developed computational modeling of (hierarchical) reinforcement learning to study how sequences of goal-directed actions are coordinated in rodents.


Chen, H.-T. & van der Meer, M. A. A. (in prep). Paradoxical replay maintains balanced and robust representations of task structure.

Chen, H.-T., Zaki Y., Cai D. J. & van der Meer, M. A. A. (in prep). Update in the hippocampal representation reveals neural signature of retrospective memory-linking.

Zaki, Y., Pennington, Z. T., …, Chen, H.-T., … & Cai, D. J. (submitted). Aversive experience drives offline ensemble reactivation to link memories across days. bioRxiv, 2023-03

Li, L., Flesch, T., Ma, C., Li, J., Chen, Y., Chen, H.-T. & Erlich, J. C. (submitted). Encoding of 2D self-centered plans and world-centered positions in the rat frontal orienting field.

Chen, H.-T., Manning, J. R., & van der Meer, M. A. A. (2021). Between-subject prediction reveals a shared representational geometry in the rodent hippocampus. Current Biology, 31(19), 4293–4304.e5.

  • Featured in a Dispatch, “Hyper-alignment: Great mice think alike”, Current Biology 31(19): 1138-R1140

Invited Talks

Fitzgerald Lab (2024). Northwestern University. PI: James Fitzgerald.

Artificial & Biological Computation Lab (2024). New York University (Virtual). PI: Cristina Savin.

Buzsáki Lab (2022). New York University. PI: György Buzsáki.

Hsu Lab (2022). Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. PI: Ching-Lung Hsu

Poster Presentations

Chen HT, Zaki Y, Cai DJ & van der Meer MA (2023). Update in the hippocampal representation reveals neural signature of retrospective memory-linking. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C.

Chen HT, Manning JR, Williams AH & van der Meer MA (2022). Necessary conditions for cross-subject alignment and prediction. Simons Foundation Internship Presentation, New York, NY.

Chen HT, Manning JR & van der Meer MA (2019). Shared representational geometry as an explanation for cross-subject prediction of place cell data from the rodent hippocampus. Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL.

Chen HT, Manning JR & van der Meer MA (2019). Between-subject prediction reveals a shared representational geometry in the rodent hippocampus. Computational and Systems Neuroscience (CoSyNe), Lisbon, Portugal.

  • Rated in top 6% of abstracts over 1000 submissions

Honors and Awards

2023 Dartmouth Guarini School Travel Award
2021 Neukom Prize for Outstanding Graduate Research in Computational Science
2019, 2023 Dartmouth GSC Student Professional Development Support Fund
2019, 2023 Dartmouth PBS Graduate Travel Award
2016 Improving Cities with the Uber API hackathon (First Place)
2011 NTHU Academic Achievement Award

Teaching Experience

summer 2021 Neural Systems and Behavior course (TA), Marine Biological Laboratories.

spring 2021 Learning (TA), Dartmouth College

Systems Neuroscience (Lab instructor), Dartmouth College 3 terms in 2019 - 2021

summer 2019 Methods in Neuroscience at Dartmouth Summer School (TA), Dartmouth College

Training and Workshops

summer 2020 Neuromatch Academy Computational Neuroscience Summer School

summer 2018 Methods in Neuroscience at Dartmouth Summer School

Other Experience

2015 - 2016 MokaHR (Software Engineer)

  • Developed responsive frontend features like dashboard, resume viewer, interview scheduler, performance summary and corresponding backend API service.

2015 (Open Source Contributor)

  • Core-Contributor of promisetw, an open source project to track commitments of politicians whose working progresses can be rated by voters

2012 - 2013 Beverage Art Club, National Tsing Hua University (President)

  • Managed 20+ people, budget, and organized daily events. Founded “Break Cafe”- a student-run cafe on campus.

Technical Skills

  • Programming Languages: Python(Numpy, Scikit-learn, Pytorch, Scipy, Matplotlib), Matlab
  • Data collection and Signal processing: In vivo electrophysiology, Fiber photometry