Faculty Members

 

Yoshikazu Isomura    Professor, Ph.D

Neuroscience / Neurophysiology

When animals behave voluntarily, neurons in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus show various forms of spike activity. However, the subtypes of neurons involved and how they interact are still not completely understood. Thus, we are attempting to clarify how information that is necessary in the selection, execution, and control of behavior is sent to neural circuits in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of rodents, using behavioral and electrophysiological methods that we established originally.

 

Keiko Iwata    Professor, Ph.D

Developmental Psychology / Childhood Science

I am attempting to understand the children’s development and learning processes in childcare and education environments from a sociocultural point of view. While I focus on the ability of individual children to emulate behavior from brain science and developmental psychology points of view, I place more emphasis on where the emulation occurs within relationships, and where and within what type of sociocultural conditions it arises. My goal is to conduct research of events occurring on site that can ultimately be utilized in childcare environments.

 

Hiroyuki Okada    Professor, Ph.D

Cognitive Robotics

I am engaged in cognitive developmental robotics research, with the aim of clarifying developmental mechanisms in human cognitive processes using infants and robots. I am interested in a wide variety of subjects, from language acquisition in infants to robot vision. My objective is to connect the seemingly unrelated fields of infant research and robotics, and understand the flexible framework of intelligence. I won the 2008 and 2010 RoboCup world championship (@Home league), and the RoboCup Japan Open since 2008.

 

Yuichirou Okamoto    Professor, Ph.D

Philosophy / Neuroethics

The traditional understanding of "humanity" continues to change dramatically with the advancement of science and technology. How to best understand these changes as a philosophy is the central theme of my research. I approach this theme by rethinking how science and technology must exist, while attempting to understand what effect(s) these have on humans from various points of view. While my specialty is the humanities, I am conducting cross-sectional research in the social and biological sciences. In particular, I am carrying out developmental research from the biological sciences on the recently active field of "neuroethics."

 

Sachiyo Kajikawa    Professor, Ph.D

Experimental Psychology / Developmental Psychology

In order to clarify language acquisition processes and mechanisms from a cognitive developmental sciences perspective, I am conducting research on infant behavior studies, as well as on observation and paper-based surveys of mother-child interaction. I have focused my attention on the relationship between phonetic perception in language and vocabulary acquisition with input from parents. In addition, I am investigating comparisons between language and music development, and characteristics of how parents sing or speak to their children. I use acoustic analysis and cardiotachometry, with attention on the role of songs in the initial stages of language acquisition.

 

Hidehiko Komatsu    Professor, Ph.D

Neurophysiology / Cognitive Neuroscience / Visual Neuroscience

We are studying neural mechanisms of visual perception and cognition where special emphasis is on those related to color vision, material perception and neural processes on surface perception. To study these problems, we use various techniques including neural recordings and behavioral experiments in the monkey as well as psycho- physical experiments and fMRI imaging from human subjects. In addition, we actively pursue integrative studies with experts in various fields.

 

Yutaka Sakai    Professor, Ph.D

Computational Theory / Computational Psychology

The brain is an excellent learning machine. Animals can learn appropriate behavior for various situations, although they have never experienced completely identical situation in their life. It implies that the brains can extract significant information for selection of behavior from huge sensory and stored information. The current computers can not yet do such excellent extraction of information. In order to clarify how animals can do, I am exploring the mechanisms of strange phenomena observed in brain and behavior of animals, from a view point of physics. I am tackling the unexplored topic of constructing a theoretical framework for learning mechanism of animals linking from neural systems to behavior.

 

Masamichi Sakagami    Professor, Ph.D

Neuroscience / Experimental Psychology

I am conducting research investigating the basic neural mechanism of decision-making and thinking by combining experimental psychology and neuroscientific methods. My experimental methodology is the use of neuron activity records and functional brain imaging (i.e., fMRI). In addition, I am discussing and carrying out collaborative research with economists and philosophers on how basic brain functions related to decision-making may be linked with complicated social brain functions (i.e., neuroeconomics and neuroethics).

 

Tetsuhiko Sasaki    Professor, Ph.D

Molecular Biology / Neurobiology / Applied Entomology

I am investigating the development and function of brain of the European honeybee. The honeybee is a typical social insect that exhibits various social behaviors. It is surprising that they are able to carry out complicated and sophisticated behaviors using a very small brain consisting of only approximately one million neurons, which is just one ten-thousandth of the human brain. My goal is to study the framework of the simple honeybee brain at a molecular level, and clarify the relationship between the development of the brain and social behaviors.

 

Ryoya Saji    Associate Professor, Ph.D

Developmental Brain Science

I am conducting developmental neurological research of infant. My goal is to gather behavioral observation surveys in the field while revealing the developmental mechanisms of the minds of infants using brain function measurement that mainly employs electroencephalogram method. I am also emphasizing pioneering educational practical activities in order to leverage the developmental neurological perspective I have gained through my research in the classroom.

 

Yuki Sato    Professor, Ph.D

Ecological Psychology / Body Theory

 

 

Kazuyuki Samejima    Professor, Ph.D

Computational Neuroscience / Cognitive Neuroscience

My research goal is to know the nature of the intelligence from a theoretical point of view combined with neurophysiological methods in order to investigate brain functions. How are our behavioral choices optimized, and what do neural mechanisms contribute to the process? How do we explore actions, including behavioral repertoires, in novel environments? My approach for the research is to construct a mathematical model from an information-processing perspective in order to elucidate the neural mechanisms that create intelligence, by measuring neural activity during behaving animals and comparing it with computational models.

 

Haruto Takagishi    Research Associate, Ph.D

Social Psychology / Developmental Psychology / Social Neuroscience

I am conducting research to clarify the psychological / neural basis of social behavior through experiments that combine economic games and functional brain imaging. I am also investigating the effect theory of mind have had on the development of altruistic behavior and sense of fairness via developmental psychology experiments with preschoolers and elementary school students.

 

Tetsuya Matsuda    Professor, Ph.D

Clinical Neuroscience / Psychiatric Neuroscience / Neurophysiology

I am conducting research related to the neural mechanisms of social decision-making using functional brain imaging, as well as psychological and physiological methodologies. First, I examine these mechanisms with basic neuroscience; then I take an approach that connects these findings with clinical research. In my clinical research, I investigate the relationship between the pathology of mental disorders and social decision-making impairment.

 

Kenji Matsumoto    Professor, Ph.D

Cognitive Brain Science / Neuroeconomics / Systems Neuroscience

My challenge is to clarify the neural mechanisms of human agency from the view of goal-directed behavior, value representation, and motivation, by combining functional brain imaging with educational and social psychological methodologies. Some of my groundbreaking findings are highly regarded internationally.