About me

I am Qianru Xu (许茜如), a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Machine Vision and Signal Analysis (CMVS), University of Oulu, Finland. Currently, I’m working on an exciting project called “Emotion AI” which is led by Prof. Guoying Zhao. Our interdisciplinary team is integrating neurosciences and computer vision to study various emotional cues. My main research focus is to leverage multimodal data to deepen our understanding of the neural mechanisms and behavioral manifestations that differentiate genuine from posed emotional states. Ultimately, we hope to help individuals improve their emotional well-being and foster more authentic human connections. In my previous research, I primarily focused on investigating brain responses (MEG/EEG) to somatosensory and emotional stimuli involving emotional pain (e.g., depression) and physical pain.

In sum, my research is deeply rooted in the study of neural signatures and their relationship to behavioral changes, particularly in the context of understanding emotions and associated affective disorders. The core aim of my work is to unravel the complex neural underpinnings of emotion using the Emotion AI engine. This could lead to the development of more effective diagnostic tools and therapeutic strategies for various emotional and behavioral disturbances.

As a researcher, I consider myself self-motivated and enthusiastic, always seeking new knowledge and embracing challenges. My personal motto is “To see the world” and “Stay curious.” Beyond academia, I have a passion for traveling and scuba diving. So far, I have explored 55 countries and spent a total of 3,003 minutes underwater (with more adventures to come…).

📧Contact me: qianru.xu@oulu.fi OR psy.qianru.xu@outlook.com


Stay tuned!😀

  • Dec 2023 Great honor to be awarded the Postdoc Pool grant supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation 🧡
  • Nov 2023 🛫 Thrilled to begin my journey as a visiting research scholar at Stanford University
  • Nov 2023 🪧 Presented our latest database at Neuroscience 2023 and was delighted to connect with so many brilliant minds.
  • Sept 2023 Excited to announce that I have been awarded the New Brain Travel Fellowship to attend Neuroscience 2023 in Washington D.C.!
  • Sept 2023 I am happy to continue my lectures in Affective Computing 2023, and ready to share knowledge with the new intake of students 👩‍🏫
  • July 2023 🎉 Exciting News! 🎉 Our groundbreaking research topic on “Cognitive Mechanisms of Visual Attention, Working Memory, Emotion, and their Interactions” has officially concluded! We received 45 submissions from brilliant minds worldwide, and 14 excellent papers have been published. To get an insightful summary of all the accepted papers, head over to our editorial. For an in-depth dive into the authors’ remarkable research, you can access each paper through their respective 🔗. Gratitude to all our incredible authors! 👏
  • Mar 2023 Our newest paper “Pain modulates early sensory brain responses to task‐irrelevant emotional faces” is now published online in the journal of European Journal of Pain! 🎬 For a video abstract, please check this link 👉 link
  • Feb 2023 Thrilled to share that I am involved in a new project as a sub-investigator, focusing on the early detection and intervention strategies for sundown syndrome in older adults
  • Sep 2022 Serving as the instructor for graduate students in Affective computing 2022 (5 ECTS) at University of Oulu
  • Aug 15, 2022 Joining the Editorial Board of Emotion Science @Frontiers in Psychology
  • July 27, 2022 📢Serving as co-editor for the research topic “Cognitive mechanisms of visual attention, working memory, emotion, and their interactions” in Frontier in neuroscience & Frontiers in psychology. All papers related to this topic are warmly welcome! 👀Abstract Submission Deadline 19 September 2022
  • July 2, 2022 🚨New preprint: Pain modulates early sensory brain responses to task-irrelevant emotional faces
  • Jun 1, 2022 Poster presentation on “Vision Sciences Society Annual meeting 2022”, Vision Science Society, Florida, United States (virtual)
  • Dec 10, 2021 Our brand new project website is live! Towards vision-based emotion AI (EmotionAI)
  • Sep 1, 2021 Join Prof. Guoying Zhao’s group at CMVS 😀
  • Aug 17, 2021 Defended my doctoral dissertation! 🎓
  • Aug 1, 2018 Join Active Mind Lab led by Dr. Piia Astikainen