Applied Brain Science Research Center

Kenji Matsumoto
Center Chief

A scientific understanding of the mind is not possible only from a physical understanding of the brain. The first step in a scientific understanding of the mind involves objective description and analysis of how the mind works within the home or within the context of society and linking this to the brain functions. The humanities and social sciences, including psychology, philosophy, economics, literature, history, and law, have long histories of describing people's behavior and how their minds work, each discipline from its own perspective. In Applied Brain Science Research Center, our mission is to develop, drawing on the wisdom accumulated in these fields, a scientific understanding of the mind within a new dimension, based on new brain science methods and computational theory. We seek to contribute to the peace and prosperity of humanity by applying the results of this research to education and social system design.

Social Behavior Research Division

We believe that the reason why humans are social animals can be found in their pro-social natures. What psychological characteristics, sympathy, trust, cooperation, reciprocity, and fairness, comprise human pro-social characteristics? What neural mechanisms realize these characteristics? We are attempt to examine these questions using social psychology experiments and functional brain imaging.

Development of Mind Research Division

We have an infant laboratory that stores a pool of more than 1,000 experimental collaborators, where studies are being conducted on subjects ranging from infants to children. We have a perspective that the development of cognitive functions might base on the foundation of language development, and attempt to elucidate the relationship between experimental psychology, comparative cognitive science, and neuroscience methodologies. That is characteristic of the Tamagawa University Brain Science Institute, which is recognized internationally.

Communication Intelligence Research Division

We develop robots that can communicate with human, and pursue the basis as computational theory. Collaborating with Development of Mind Research Division, we objectively analyze communication between an infant and a robot. Outcomes of our research reflect success on our challenges in Robocup international (World Champion of Robocup@home in 2008, 2010).

Philosophy of Mind Research Division

Philosophy has provided deep insight into the human mind and behavior for a long history. By establishing a place where philosophers and neuroscientists can interact, we continue efforts to introduce scientific insight into the moral, ethical, and life views based on philosophy. This has resulted in the publication of books such as "The Meeting of Neuroscience and Philosophy" and "The Meeting of Psychiatry and Philosophy" (Tamagawa University Press). In addition, philosophers and neuroscientists are working together not only on the latest neuroscience research, but on research concerning how to translate this knowledge to general people.