An interview with Professor Feng Gangyi

Professor Feng Gangyi

Professor Feng Gangyi joined Shaw College in 2019, and is currently a member of College’s Sports and Recreation Committee

Professor Feng Gangyi, Associate Professor from the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages, focuses on the teaching and research in neurolinguistics. For the outstanding achievements in his field of research, Professor Feng received the funding award from the Excellent Young Scientists Fund (Hong Kong and Macao) this year.
In the interview with Professor Feng, we learnt that neurolinguistics involves linguistics, psychology and neuroscience and explores the relationship between languages and the brain from different perspectives. Professor Feng majored in Psychology since his undergraduate to doctoral studies. He is particularly interested in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, which studies the mental processing of invisible and intangible abilities and the biological basis of brain in these processes respectively, such as how the brain sees shapes and understands words.
Language is a unique and complex ability of human beings. It is difficult to understand the cognitive brain basis of language, but research plays an important role in human life and technology development. Professor Feng is curious and likes challenges, and therefore he chose this interdisciplinary subject as his research field. By understanding how the brain processes language, neurolinguistics can help develop effective language learning strategies, improve communication between people, and help people with speech and language impairment improve their communication skills. Talking about communication, people nowadays get used to use mobile phones. Professor Feng thinks it was reflecting the changes of society and communication methods. The most important is to understand the advantages and disadvantages of communication methods, know how to express our thoughts and emotions through words and images, understand and respect the views of others, and communicate face-to-face at the right timing to enhance friendship and cooperation.
Comparing research and teaching, Professor Feng prefers research but believes both are challenging and important. Professor Feng recently received a funding award from the Excellent Young Scientists Fund (Hong Kong and Macao). He is grateful for the selection panel's recognition and trust, which is an affirmation to the research team to encourage them to explore leading-edge research topics more freely. The award does not only give an honour to Professor Feng, but also more responsibility and motivation. He hopes to discover more on practical issues such as speech therapy.
Professor Feng first came into contact with Shaw College when he was a visiting scholar at CUHK more than ten years ago. He strongly agreed with College's philosophy of providing students with opportunities for whole person development, and chose to be a member of Shaw College after he joined CUHK. Professor Feng is active in college activities and even brings his children to participate. He is looking forward to having more opportunities to engage in college affairs and assist in college development in the future.

A photo of Professor Feng Gangyi (first from the right) with his team in the language laboratory
A photo of Professor Feng Gangyi (first from the right) with his team in the language laboratory

This article was originally published in the Newsletter of the College, Shaw Link in Jan 2024.