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Dr Yuan Cao (Sally) first completed her bachelor's degree in psychology at the City University of Hong Kong, before receiving a master's degree in neuroscience, another master's degree in clinical psychology, and a PhD in psychology from The University of Queensland in Australia. She was supported by the International Postgraduate Research Scholarship and the UQ Centennial Scholarship. 

Dr Cao worked as a practising psychologist at a community health clinic and a researcher at an NGO in Australia, before returning to Hong Kong to work in academia. Her work experience across different settings has inspired her to conduct basic research with the potential of improving practice in the future.

Most of her research is centred around social cognition (i.e., the ability to understand and relate to other people), which is relevant to both healthy populations and people with different mental health problems (e.g., schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, or autism). She uses a combination of behavioural tasks and brain-imaging techniques (e.g., fMRI) to better understand social cognition across the lifespan. 

Please refer to her ORCID page for updated publication list: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5635-9253 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Social Sciences, City University of Hong Kong

Master of Neuroscience, The University of Queensland

Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland

Master of Clinical Psychology, The University of Queensland


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