Jeonghun Ku

Keimyung University, Sŏul, Seoul, South Korea

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Publications (73)143.27 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Patients with schizophrenia often show abnormal social interactions, which may explain their social exclusion behaviors. This study aimed to elucidate patients' brain responses to social rejection in an interactive situation. Fifteen patients with schizophrenia and 16 healthy controls participated in the functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment with the virtual handshake task, in which socially interacting contents such as acceptance and refusal of handshaking were implemented. Responses to the refusal versus acceptance conditions were evaluated and compared between the two groups. Controls revealed higher activity in the refusal condition compared to the acceptance condition in the right superior temporal sulcus, whereas patients showed higher activity in the prefrontal regions, including the frontopolar cortex. In patients, contrast activities of the right superior temporal sulcus were inversely correlated with the severity of schizophrenic symptoms, whereas contrast activities of the left frontopolar cortex were positively correlated with the current anxiety scores. The superior temporal sulcus hypoactivity and frontopolar hyperactivity of patients with schizophrenia in social rejection situations may suggest the presence of mentalizing deficits in negative social situations and inefficient processes of socially aberrant stimuli, respectively. These abnormalities may be one of the neural bases of distorted or paranoid beliefs in schizophrenia.
    Social neuroscience 04/2014; · 3.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neurobiological models of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) emphasize disturbances of the corticostriatal circuit, but it remains unclear as to how these complex network dysfunctions correspond to heterogeneous OCD phenotypes. We aimed to investigate corticostriatal functional connectivity alterations distinct to OCD characterized predominantly by contamination/washing symptoms. Functional connectivity strengths of the striatal seed regions with remaining brain regions during the resting condition and the contamination symptom provocation condition were compared among 13 OCD patients with predominant contamination/washing symptoms (CON), 13 OCD patients without these symptoms (NCON), and 18 healthy controls. The CON group showed distinctively altered functional connectivity between the ventral striatum and the insula during both the resting and symptom-provoking conditions. Also, the connectivity strength between the ventral striatum and the insula significantly correlated with contamination/washing symptom severity. As common connectivity alterations of the whole OCD subjects, corticostriatal circuits involving the orbitofrontal and temporal cortices were again confirmed. To our knowledge, this is the first study that examined specific abnormalities in functional connectivity of contamination/washing symptom dimension OCD. The findings suggest limbic network dysfunctions to play a pivotal role in contamination/washing symptoms, possibly associated with emotionally salient error awareness. Our study sample allowed us to evaluate the corticostriatal network dysfunction underlying the contamination/washing symptom dimension, which leaves other major symptom dimensions to be explored in the future.
    Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 01/2014; 53:149–155. · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the analgesic effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the primary motor (M1), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and sham tDCS in patients with painful diabetic polyneuropathy (PDPN). Patients with PDPN (n=60) were divided randomly into the three groups (n=20 per group). Each group received anodal tDCS with the anode centered over the left M1, DLPFC, or sham stimulation for 20 minutes at intensity of 2 mA for 5 consecutive days. A blinded physician rated the patients' pain using a visual analog scale (VAS), Clinical Global Impression (CGI) score, anxiety score, sleep quality, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the pain threshold (PT) to pressure. After the tDCS sessions, the M1 group showed a significantly greater reduction in VAS for pain and PT versus the sham and DLPFC groups (p<0.001). The reduction in VAS for pain was sustained after 2 and 4 weeks of follow-up in the M1 group compared with the sham group (p<0.001, p=0.007). Significant differences were observed among the three groups over time in VAS for pain (p<0.001), CGI score (p=0.01), and PT (p<0.001). No significant difference was observed among the groups in sleep quality, anxiety score, or BDI score immediately after tDCS. Five daily sessions of tDCS over the M1 can produce immediate pain relief, and relief 2- and 4-week in duration in patients with PDPN. Our findings provide the first evidence of a beneficial effect of tDCS on PDPN.
    Annals of rehabilitation medicine. 12/2013; 37(6):766-76.
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    ABSTRACT: Cortical areas supporting cognitive control and salience demonstrate different neural responses to visual food cues in patients with eating disorders. This top-down cognitive control, which interacts with bottom-up appetitive responses, is tightly integrated not only in task conditions but also in the resting-state. The dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) is a key node of a large-scale network that is involved in self-referential processing and cognitive control. We investigated resting-state functional connectivity of the dACC and hypothesized that altered connectivity would be demonstrated in cortical midline structures involved in self-referential processing and cognitive control. Seed-based resting-state functional connectivity was analyzed in women with anorexia nervosa (N=18), women with bulimia nervosa (N=20) and age matched healthy controls (N=20). Between group comparisons revealed that the anorexia nervosa group exhibited stronger synchronous activity between the dACC and retrosplenial cortex, whereas the bulimia nervosa group showed stronger synchronous activity between the dACC and medial orbitofrontal cortex. Both groups demonstrated stronger synchronous activity between the dACC and precuneus, which correlated with higher scores of the Body Shape Questionnaire. The dACC-precuneus resting-state synchrony might be associated with the disorder-specific rumination on eating, weight and body shape in patients with eating disorders.
    Psychiatry research. 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, the virtual reality (VR) proprioception rehabilitation system was developed for stroke patients to use proprioception feedback in upper limb rehabilitation by blocking visual feedback. To evaluate its therapeutic effect, 10 stroke patients (onset>3 month) trained proprioception feedback rehabilitation for one week and visual feedback rehabilitation for another week in random order. Proprioception functions were checked before, a week after, and at the end of training. The results show the click count, error distance and total error distance among proprioception evaluation factors were significantly reduced after proprioception feedback training compared to visual feedback training (respectively, p=0.005, p=0.001, and p=0.007). In addition, subjects were significantly improved in conventional behavioral tests after training. In conclusion, we showed the effectiveness and possible use of the VR to recover the proprioception of stroke patients.
    Computer methods and programs in biomedicine 09/2013; · 1.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol dependence is characterized by persistent alcohol-seeking despite negative consequences. Previous studies suggest that maladaptive persistent behaviors reflect alcohol-induced brain changes that cause alterations in the cortico-striatal-limbic circuit. Twenty one alcohol dependent patients and 24 age-matched healthy controls performed a decision-making task during functional MRI. We defined the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) as a region-of-interest and performed seed-based functional connectivity analysis. Healthy controls were more flexible in adapting an alternative behavioral strategy, which correlated with stronger mOFC-dorsal striatum functional connectivity. In contrast, alcohol dependent patients persisted to the first established behavioral strategy. The mOFC-dorsal striatum functional connectivity was impaired in the alcohol-dependent patients, but increased in correlation with the duration of abstinence. Our findings support that the disruption of the mOFC-striatal circuitry contribute to the maldaptive persistent behaviors in alcohol dependent patients.
    Psychiatry investigation 09/2013; 10(3):266-272. · 1.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. Anhedonia in schizophrenia results from a deficit in anticipatory pleasure rather than consummatory pleasure. This study aimed to determine the neural basis of the predictive and experiential components of anticipatory pleasure in schizophrenia. Methods. A hedonic rating task was performed by 15 patients with schizophrenia and 17 controls while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. Participants evaluated the level of pleasantness for the preview/predictive phase, comprising a narration and adjunctive audiovisual stimuli for pleasurable experience, and the subsequent viewing/experiential phase, comprising a video clip for a pleasant event. Results. A significant group-by-phase interaction was seen in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and caudate, resulting from reduced activations in patients during the preview phase. Patients showed significantly reduced activation in the frontopolar cortex and rostral ACC during the preview phase. The signal changes in the caudate and frontopolar cortex were associated with increase in hedonic response during the sequential pleasure experiences. Conclusions. Augmentation of hedonic enjoyment between the predictive and experiential stages of anticipatory pleasure is reduced in schizophrenia because of diminished activity in the reward-related regions during the prediction of pleasure. During cued-emotional experiences of anticipatory pleasure, patients seem to have difficulties in the integration of emotional information.
    The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 08/2013; · 3.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated a virtual reality (VR) proprioceptive rehabilitation system that could manipulate the visual feedback of upper-limb during training and could do training by relying on proprioception feedback only. Virtual environments were designed in order to switch visual feedback on/off during upper-limb training. Two types of VR training tasks were designed for evaluating the effect of the proprioception focused training compared to the training with visual feedback. In order to evaluate the developed proprioception feedback virtual environment system, we recruited ten stroke patients (age: 54.7± 7.83years, on set: 3.29± 3.83 years). All patients performed three times PFVE task in order to check the improvement of proprioception function just before training session, after one week training, and after all training. In a comparison between FMS score and PFVE, the FMS score had a significant relationship with the error distance(r = -.662, n=10, p = .037) and total movement distance(r = -.726, n=10, p = .018) in PFVE. Comparing the training effect between in virtual environment with visual feedback and with proprioception, the click count, error distance and total error distance was more reduced in PFVE than VFVE. (Click count: p = 0.005, error distance: p = 0.001, total error distance: p = 0.007). It suggested that the proprioception feedback rather than visual feedback could be effective means to enhancing motor control during rehabilitation training. The developed VR system for rehabilitation has been verified in that stroke patients improved motor control after VR proprioception feedback training.
    Conference proceedings: ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference 07/2013; 2013:4621-4624.
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    ABSTRACT: Sustained attention is an essential brain function that enables a subject to maintain attention level over the time of a task. In previous work, the right inferior parietal lobe (IPL) has been reported as one of the main brain regions related to sustained attention, however, the right lateralization of vigilance/sustained attention is unclear because information about the network for sustained attention is traditionally provided by neglect patients who typically have right brain damage. Here, we investigated sustained attention by applying a virtual lesion technique, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), over the left and right superior parietal lobe (SPL) and IPL. We used two different types of visual sustained attention tasks: spatial (location based) and non-spatial (feature based). When the participants performed the spatial task, repetitive TMS (rTMS) over either the right or left IPL induced a significant decrement of sustained attention causing a progressive increment of errors and response time. In contrast, participants' performance was not changed by rTMS on the non-spatial task. Also, omission errors (true negative) gradually increased with time on right and left IPL rTMS conditions, while commission errors (false positive) were relatively stable. These findings suggest that the maintenance of attention, especially in tasks regarding spatial location, is not uniquely lateralized to the right IPL, but may also involve participation of the left IPL.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 01/2013; 7:26. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: Reducing craving is a key to success in the treatment of alcohol dependence. The emotion circuit may be involved in pathological craving for alcohol. In this study, we investigated neural correlates of emotional involvement in craving in alcohol dependence. Methods: The study included 17 detoxified alcoholic patients and 25 social drinkers. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine brain activation (blood oxygen level-dependent signals) while participants reported craving and emotion in response to visually presented, alcohol-related stimuli and emotional stimuli. Results: In the craving-rating paradigm, negative emotional stimuli as well as alcohol cues activated craving-related brain regions in alcoholic patients. Activations of the inferior parietal lobule and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex by negative emotional stimuli were negatively correlated with craving; meanwhile limbic activation was positively correlated with craving. For the emotion paradigm, greater limbic activation was evident by alcohol-related stimuli in the alcohol-dependent group. Conclusions: Our findings constitute neural evidence for emotional involvement in pathological craving for alcohol, underscoring the importance of emotion management in abstinent alcoholic patients for relapse prevention.
    Alcohol and Alcoholism 12/2012; · 1.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Attention deficit has been reported in both schizophrenia patients and patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to elucidate the deficits in sustained attention and associated neural network dysfunctions in schizophrenia patients and MDD patients, and to investigate the difference between the two patient groups. Twelve schizophrenia patients, 12 patients with non-psychotic MDD, and 12 healthy control subjects participated in this study. A sustained attention to response task (SART) was used to measure attention capacity. Cerebral blood flow (CBF) during attention tasks was measured using H(2) (15) O positron emission tomography. Statistical parametric mapping and analysis of covariance were performed to compare the behavioral performance and CBF changes during SART among three groups. Behavioral performances were not significantly different among the three groups except for an increased commission error rate in the schizophrenia group. Regional CBF during SART was significantly reduced in the left inferior frontal gyrus, the left cuneus, and the right superior parietal lobule and increased in the right superior frontal gyrus and the right cuneus in the schizophrenia group compared to the healthy control group. In the MDD group, neither significant regional CBF difference nor behavioral deficit was found compared to the healthy control group. Behavioral performance deficit and perfusion changes in the prefrontal and parietal cortices during SART were observed only in the schizophrenia group. Prefrontal and parietal network dysfunction for sustained attention may be involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
    Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 12/2012; 66(7):564-72. · 2.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Auditory hallucinations often influence schizophrenia patients in many aspects. In order to develop effective behavioral interventions for overcoming enduring auditory hallucinations, it is necessary to understand how the annoying symptom affects the daily lives of the patients. This study evaluated the effect of hearing unusual voices on performing the activities of daily life in schizophrenia patients. Methods: Eighteen hallucinating patients, 18 nonhallucinating patients and 20 normal controls performed the virtual daily-life task of packing 8 items for travel under 3 conditions: (1) without unusual voices and without avatars, (2) with unusual voices and without avatars and (3) with unusual voices and with avatars. Task completion time and the number of times the packing list was checked were recorded as a measure of the task performance. Results: When exposed to unusual voices without avatars, hallucinating patients checked the packing list fewer times than nonhallucinating patients, and they required longer to complete the task, as positive and negative symptoms were worse. Subjective responses to unusual voices were stronger in hallucinating patients than in nonhallucinating patients. Conclusions: Daily-life activities of hallucinating patients may be less easily influenced by odd auditory stimuli in a nonsocial situation than those of nonhallucinating patients; however, hallucinating patients may feel more strongly affected by unusual voices. To better evaluate and thereby understand the difficulties faced by hallucinating patients in their daily life, the discrepancies between objective and subjective measures as well as social situations should be taken into consideration.
    Psychopathology 07/2012; 45(6):352-60. · 1.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most patients with schizophrenia suffer from various types of hallucinations, which commonly produce distress, functional disability or behavioral dyscontrol. The neural process of adapting to hallucinations in patients with schizophrenia remains unknown. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) responses to an unusual threatening visual stimulus designed to simulate a hallucinatory experience were compared between 16 patients with schizophrenia and 17 healthy controls. Linear and quadratic repetition-variant as well as repetition-invariant responses to the stimulus were compared between the two groups. Repetition-invariant responses were similar between patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. Patients with schizophrenia exhibited a linear activation pattern in the anterior cingulate, whereas healthy controls exhibited a parabolic activation pattern in the anterior prefrontal cortex, occipito-temporal junction and amygdala. These results provide us with a better understanding of the neural processes involved in gaining insight into unreality. Patients with schizophrenia may use a salience-related region instead of reality monitoring-related regions to react to the unusual stimuli, and this peculiarity of the neural processes may be related to vulnerability to psychosis.
    Journal of psychiatric research 07/2012; 46(10):1318-25. · 3.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The anterior insula has been proposed to play a crucial role in eating disorders. However, it is still poorly understood how the anterior insula is involved in anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN), which are characterized by opposite motivational responses to food. We applied a cue-reactivity paradigm using blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging in women with AN (N=18) and BN (N=20) and age-matched healthy controls (N=20). We defined the left anterior insula as a region-of-interest and performed seed-based functional connectivity and effective connectivity MRI analysis. In response to food images compared to non-food images, both the AN group and BN group demonstrated increased activity in the left anterior insula. In the AN group, the left anterior insula demonstrated significant interactions with the right insula and right inferior frontal gyrus. In the BN group, the left anterior insula demonstrated significant interactions with the medial orbitofrontal cortex. The distinct patterns of functional and effective connectivity of the anterior insula may contribute to the different clinical features of AN and BN.
    Neuroscience Letters 06/2012; 521(2):152-7. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To delineate the changes in corticospinal excitability when individuals are asked to exercise their hand using observation, motor imagery, voluntary exercise, and exercise with a mirror. The participants consisted of 30 healthy subjects and 30 stroke patients. In healthy subjects, the amplitudes and latencies of motor evoked potential (MEP) were obtained using seven conditions: (A) rest; (B) imagery; (C) observation and imagery of the hand activity of other individuals; (D) observation and imagery of own ipsilateral hand activity; (E) observation and imagery of the hand activity of another individual with a mirror; (F) observation and imagery of own symmetric ipsilateral hand activity (thumb abduction) with a mirror; and (G) observation and imagery of own asymmetric ipsilateral hand activity (little finger abduction) with a mirror. In stroke patients, MEPs were obtained in the A, C, D, E, F conditions. In both groups, increment of the percentage MEP amplitude (at rest) and latency decrement of MEPs were significantly higher during the observation of the activity of the hand of another individual with a mirror and during symmetric ipsilateral hand activity on their own hand with a mirror than they were without a mirror. In healthy subjects, the increment of percentage MEP amplitude and latency decrement were significantly higher during the observation of the symmetric ipsilateral hand activity with a mirror compared to the observation of the activity of the asymmetric ipsilateral hand with a mirror of their own hand. In both groups, corticospinal excitability was facilitated by viewing the mirror image of the activity of the ipsilateral hand. These findings provide neurophysiological evidence supporting the application of various mirror imagery programs during stroke rehabilitation.
    Annals of rehabilitation medicine. 12/2011; 35(6):747-58.
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    ABSTRACT: Although social skills training (SST) is an effective approach for improving social skills for schizophrenia, the motivational deficit attenuates its efficacy. Virtual reality (VR) applications have allowed individuals with mental disabilities to enhance their motivation for rehabilitation. We compared SST using VR role-playing (SST-VR) to SST using traditional role-playing (SST-TR). This randomized, controlled trial included 91 inpatients with schizophrenia who were assigned to either SST-VR (n=46) or SST-TR (n=45). Both groups were administered over 10 semiweekly group sessions. An experienced, blinded rater assessed vocal, nonverbal and conversational skills. We also obtained data on motivation for SST and various social abilities. Throughout the 10 sessions, the SST-VR group (n=33) showed greater interest in SST and generalization of the skills than the SST-TR group (n=31). After SST, the SST-VR group improved more in conversational skills and assertiveness than the SST-TR group, but less in nonverbal skills. The VR application in role-plays of SST for schizophrenia may be particularly beneficial in terms of improving the conversational skills and assertiveness, possibly through its advantages in enhancing motivation for SST and generalization of the skills, and thus it may be a useful supplement to traditional SST.
    Psychiatry Research 04/2011; 189(2):166-72. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the neural pathophysiology of the theory of mind network by eliciting self-referential processing during an idea of reference evocating situation in patients with schizophrenia. Functional MRI was conducted on 14 schizophrenic in-patients with the idea of reference and 15 healthy participants while viewing video vignettes of referential conversations, non-referential conversations or no conversations between two people, which were filmed at varying distances of 1, 5 or 10 m. The patient group did not show normal patterns of superior temporal sulcus activation to conversational context, and reciprocal deactivation and activation of the ventromedial and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex to referential conversational context. Instead, the patient group showed overall greater ventromedial prefrontal activities across different conversational contexts and inverse correlation between superior temporal sulcus activity and delusional severity. Differential activations of the temporal pole and its posterior extension to varying distances were observed in the control group but not in the patient group. The present study demonstrates that theory of mind-related responses of the medial prefrontal-superior temporal network are attenuated during the self-referential processing in patients with schizophrenia and that these abnormalities may be related to the formation of their referential or persecutory delusion.
    Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 01/2011; 123(1):43-54. · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Impaired social functioning has been reported in patients with schizophrenia. This study aimed to examine characteristics of interpersonal behaviors in patients with schizophrenia during various social interactions using the virtual reality system. Twenty-six patients and 26 controls engaged in the virtual conversation tasks, including 3 positive and 3 negative emotion-laden conversations. Eye gaze and other behavioral parameters were recorded during the listening and answering phases. The amount of eye gaze was assessed as smaller in the patients than in the controls. A significant interaction effect of group status and emotional type was found for the listening phase. The amount of eye gaze in the patients inversely correlated with self-rated scores of assertiveness for the listening phase. These results suggest that the patients displayed inadequate levels of augmentations in eye gaze during negative emotional situations. These deficits should be considered in the treatment and social skills training for patients with schizophrenia.
    The Journal of nervous and mental disease 11/2010; 198(11):829-35. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) is now providing further understanding of neuropsychiatric illnesses. However, its practical applicability in the clinical realms is still questionable. Here we report three consecutive followed-up resting-state fMRI data in a single case with Wernicke encephalopathy before and after high-dose thiamine replacement therapy ranging over 20 months. We measured the mammillothalamic functional connectivity strength between the first ROI (mammillary body) and a voxel which showed the highest co-activation among voxels within the anterior thalamus (the second ROI) to enhance the specificity of the functional connectivity data. We found that the time-series changes in the mammillothalamic functional connectivity generally paralleled to the changes in delayed verbal and nonverbal recall memory scores in the left and right hemisphere, respectively. Among these, the left-side connectivity and delayed verbal recall score seemed to be related to the overall clinical status change. Modified directed transfer function (dDTF) analysis also identified significant information flows with mammillary-to-thalamic direction except at the acute illness state. Our findings, though preliminary in nature, suggest the practical applicability of resting-state fMRI to trace an effect of thiamine replacement therapy on the memory tract function in Wernicke encephalopathy at single-patient level.
    Neuroscience Letters 08/2010; 479(3):257-61. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The degree at which individuals maintain behavioral strategies during uncertain conditions varies widely; however, the neural bases of these individual differences remain unclear. This study examines the functional connectivity of the orbitofrontal cortex during a decision-making task using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The strength of the functional connectivity observed between the medial orbitofrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens was determined to be correlated with the number of persistent responses made during the decision-making task. It is proposed that top-down control of the orbitofrontal cortex over the ventral striatum is a critical component underlying individual differences in decision making during uncertain conditions.
    Neuroreport 03/2010; 21(7):502-6. · 1.40 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

426 Citations
143.27 Total Impact Points


  • 2011–2014
    • Keimyung University
      Sŏul, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2013
    • Seoul National University Hospital
      Sŏul, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2008–2013
    • Yonsei University Hospital
      • Department of Internal Medicine
      Sŏul, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2001–2013
    • Hanyang University
      • Department of Biomedical Engineering
      Ansan, Gyeonggi, South Korea
  • 2009
    • Yonsei University
      • Division of Biomedical Engineering
      Seoul, Seoul, South Korea