Behrakis Health Science Center at Northeastern's Boston Campus

Xiao Yang


Assistant Professor

Public Health and Health Sciences

Research Interests

Dynamical system, emotion regulation, mental health, digital phenotyping


Dr. Yang was the Research Lead at Mindstrong Health, a telehealth company that provides mental healthcare and just-in-time intervention based on passive sensing data. Her research focuses on developing innovative methods to design personalized interventions for mental health risks (e.g., depression and anxiety). Dr. Yang has an interdisciplinary educational background, including quantitative psychology (Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University), statistics (M.A. from Columbia University), and computer science (B.S. from Tsinghua University), and received postdoctoral training from Stanford University. Her research has been published in leading psychology journals (both quantitative and developmental) and human-computer interaction venues, including Multivariate Behavioral Research, Developmental Psychology, ACM Computer-Human Interactions, and Complexity.

Selected Publications

Yang, X., Knights, J., Bangieva, V., & Kambhampati, V. (2023). Association between severity of depressive symptoms and human-smartphone interaction behavior: A longitudinal study. JMIR Formative Research.

Yang, X., Ram, N., Molenaar, P.C.M., Cole, P.M. (2021). Describing and controlling multivariate nonlinear dynamics: A Boolean network method. Multivariate Behavioral Research.

Yang, X., Ram, N., Lougheed, J. P., Molenaar, P. C. M., & Hollenstein, T. (2019). Adolescents’ emotion system dynamics: Network-based analysis of physiological and emotional experience. Developmental Psychology, 55(9), 1982-1993.

Yang, X., Ram, N., Robinson, T., & Reeves, B. (2019). Using screenshots to predict task switching on smartphones. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’19 Late Breaking Work). Glasgow, UK. May 2019.

Yang, X., Ram, N., Gest, S., Lydon, D., Conroy, D. E., Pincus, A. L., & Molenaar, P. C. M. (2018). Socioemotional dynamics of emotion regulation and depressive symptoms: A person-specific network approach. Complexity, 2018, Article ID 5094179.