Visual Psychophysics Lab. Psychophysics, virtual reality, cognitive neuroscience, brainmachine interface, social cognition
Michiteru Kitazaki
Sachiyo Ueda
Psychophysics, virtual reality, cognitive neuroscience, brainmachine interface, social cognition

We are exploring to understand scientifically how we perceive the world/environment and communicate with others. Embodied perception is a main perspective in our research. Our perceptual process and communication are crucially connected to our bodies physically and psychologically. We are investigating three research themes based on this perspective.

Science for mobile observer

To understand perception for mobile observers, we are investigating self-motion perception, 3-D objects, and scene and human-body recognition across viewpoints with psychophysical experiments. To know the interaction of perception and action, we are measuring motor behavior and perception during action such as walking and driving a car. Parts of the driving study are cooperative studies with a motor company.

Science for perceptual reality

To explore what is reality, we are investigating material perception, perceptual aesthetics, lightness perception, self-motion perception, and human-body perception in virtual-reality environments. Cross-modal studies, such as vision-vestibular interaction on postural control and face-voice interaction on emotions, are included in the theme. We are developing a system to experience tele-presence of walking and a system for modifying the human body experience.

Science for implicit social cognition

We interact with others naturally, and perceive the world and others on the basis of social communications. The crucial factor for implicit social cognition is our bodies. We are investigating body perception, neurophysiology of empathy, equity, and morals. We found that the preverbal infants show sympathy for others in distress and that humans can empathize with humanoid robots.

Molecular Information Systems Lab. Mathematical chemistry, molecular graph theory, chemometrics, multivariate data analysis, pattern recognition, machine learning, data mining
Yoshimasa Takahashi
Tetsuo Katsuragi
Mathematical chemistry, molecular graph theory, chemometrics, multivariate data analysis, pattern recognition, machine learning, data mining

We are doing research on the development of algorithms and software tools for molecular structure information processing and intelligent systems for drug design and development aiming toward the establishment of domain-specific information technology in chemistry and related fields

Studies on algorithms for molecular information processing

"Similarity" is a very important concept in solving problems in science. This is true in chemistry; in particular, structural similarity provides us much information on structure-activity and structure-property problems. There are two different viewpoints: (1) What is similar among the structures? (2) How similar are they? From these viewpoints, in our laboratory, the fundamental studies focus on new algorithm and software tools for the evaluation of structural similarity/diversity using a graph theoretical approach.

Chemical artificial intelligence system based on machine learning

On the basis of a chemical structure that is drawn on a computer, the structural features of the drug molecule are analyzed automatically, and the feature profile is expressed as digital spectra by Topological fragment spectra (TFS) method developed by our laboratory. The correlations between the spectra and activity (or toxicity) of known chemical compounds are trained by machine learning such as artificial neural networks; and, by studying the mutual relationship, the development research of the system that presumes the safety and character of a new useful chemical substance is being advanced.

Others

Desktop tools for environmental toxicity prediction of chemical substances; molecular music (algorithms and implementation)

Visual Perception & Cognition Lab. Mechanisms of visual perception and cognition (color perception, material perception, visual attention, face recognition), brain decoding (electroencephalogram (EEG), mind reading, emotion, preference), vision technology (visual media universal design, high dynamic range (HDR) imaging), spectral imaging (food quality, skin condition)
Shigeki Nakauchi
Hiroshi Higashi
Mechanisms of visual perception and cognition (color perception, material perception, visual attention, face recognition), brain decoding (electroencephalogram (EEG), mind reading, emotion, preference), vision technology (visual media universal design, high dynamic range (HDR) imaging), spectral imaging (food quality, skin condition)

Thanks to our visual functions, we can easily see and understand an object. Our purposes are revealing the brain mechanisms of the visual function and developing a new vision information technology based on visual science.

Visual science (study for mechanisms of visual perception and cognition)

We aim to understand human vision functions that capture information of the external world, such as color and material perception via eyes. Visual psychophysics and brain imaging are used for revealing the mechanisms of visual perception and cognition. Additionally, we tackle problems of cognitive science such as memory, preference, and emotion. Examples mechanisms of luster perception, color distinction of color-blindness, interaction between color perception and movement perception, brain imaging of unnaturality and understanding, and mechanisms of face recognition.

Vision technology (development of next-generation visual information technologies)

We develop new vision technologies on the basis of knowledges of visual science. The visualization of invisible information by spectral imaging technologies and the reproduction of images that correspond to human perception are among our technologies. Moreover, our filter that gives the vision of color-blindness to people with normal color vision contributes for the spread of visual media universal design. Examples infra red spectroscopy analysis by discriminate filtering, visualization of skin conditions, non-destructive measurement of food qualities, and high dynamic range imaging.

Biological Motor Control System Lab. Computational model for voluntary movements, Sensory-motor coordination
Naohiro Fukumura
Computational model for voluntary movements, Sensory-motor coordination

Humans can perform various complex and dexterous movements in daily life. We aim to understand the excellent information processing mechanism for cognition and motor control of the central nervous system that achieves humans' skillful movements .

Computational theory of voluntary movement control

The hand and arm trajectory of various movements such as the reach-to-grasp movement and hand writing movement is measured by a motion capture system, and at the same time, other biological signals such as eye movement are also measured. These motion trajectory data and cognitive information for motor control are analyzed, and a computational model for voluntary movement control that can reproduce the human movement is developed.

Applied research of the model for motion control

We applied the features and measurement technology of human movement obtained by motion analysis to develop a user-friendly man-machine interface, welfare technology, and robotics.

Auditory Psychophysics Lab. psychology of hearing; computational model of auditory peripheral; hearing impairment simulation; music perception and cognition; diversity of musicians' sensory processing
Toshie Matsui
psychology of hearing; computational model of auditory peripheral; hearing impairment simulation; music perception and cognition; diversity of musicians' sensory processing

We address the issues related to auditory perception and cognition using various psychological experiment paradigms, mainly psychophysical methods. Our research scope covers various themes from computational modeling of the early stage of hearing to cognition of music. We aim to reveal the full function of hearing by approaching from both low-level processing and that of higher function.

Computational model of auditory system

In the auditory system, there still remains some unexplained functions; the auditory path from the outer-ear to the auditory area of cerebral cortex is too deep inside to observe from the outside and the path is complicated due to lots of nuclei relays. To understand such hearing has been recently facilitated by computational models that express the processing at each stage of hearing by signal processing. We measure the fundamental functions of hearing such as encoding frequency components, period of waveform, and dynamic range of sounds by psychophysical experimental methods, and reflect the results in a computational model called dynamic compressive gammachirp filterbank model which has been developed in collaborative research projects. By following the prediction of perceptual phenomena by the computational model and its experimental validation, we contribute to the understanding of the human auditory system.

Hearing impairment simulation and its application

Japan is experiencing a "super-aging" society nowadays. It is predicted that age-related hearing loss will increase with the increase in the population of elderly people. Although it is necessary to avoid disconnection of communication due to hearing loss, it is so hard to imagine how hearing loss changes the perception of sound. The computational model of the auditory system can output not only an expression of auditory function, but also sounds deteriorated by modules causing hearing loss. It allows users "to listen as a person with hearing loss". We are planning to apply this hearing impairment simulation to an educational course for speech therapists, and disperse broadly to the general public to learn about hearing. This simulation will also allow us to evaluate sounds with specific hearing loss, and obtain cues to synthesize clear sounds for all of us.

Changes in perception and cognition of music by long-term training

The questions of how we perceive music as an object with recognizable temporal structure, receive various emotions from it, and enjoy it are still research themes stimulating many researchers. We will study how music changes human audio-visual information processing with the cooperation of professional musicians intensely trained since childhood. We are also investigating the diversity of musicians who have often been treated as a single group.

Computational Intelligence Lab. Intelligent information processing, neural network models, soft comuting
Kazushi Murakoshi
Intelligent information processing, neural network models, soft comuting

Humans and animals have wonderful information processing functions, but many functions are not elucidated yet. Therefore, when it is faced with a difficult problem in artificial information processing to elucidate the information processing function, biological information processing may lead to a breakthrough. Thus, it is necessary to consider various fields to investigate the information processing mechanisms of humans and animals. For this purpose, my research inquires from various aspects based on information science with physiological and psychological knowledge. The final aim is to make an artificial object that has equal or better abilities compared to humans and animals.

Intelligent information processing

In order to make an artificial object that has equal or better abilities compared to humans and animals, we propose neural circuit models, flexible reinforcement learning algorithms, and other soft computing methods.

Sensory information processing model

This research studies the elucidation of recongnitive functions by constructing recognition models (mainly vision) and their applications, such as image processing.

Visual Neuroscience Laboratory Electrophysiology, single-unit recording, electricalmicrostimulation, behaving animal. human psychophysicsoptical imaging, fiber cuppled microscopy, multi-electrode depelopmentcolor blind, dichromaticism, macaque monkey
Kowa Koida
Electrophysiology, single-unit recording, electricalmicrostimulation, behaving animal. human psychophysicsoptical imaging, fiber cuppled microscopy, multi-electrode depelopmentcolor blind, dichromaticism, macaque monkey

My research interest lies in the field of systems neuroscience, particularly in the functional relationship between visual perception and neuron activity in the cerebral cortex. The goal of my research is understanding neuronal processes that mediate color perception and object recognition. I have been conducting behavioral and physiological experiments with trained monkeys to perform cognitive tasks. Human psychophysics is also carried out to support correlative evidence between animal behavior and human perception.

Understanding neural basis for visual sensation and cognition

Color is a premier model system for understanding how visual information is processed by neural circuits. Both the physical stimulus for color and the perceptual output experienced as color are quite well characterized, but the neural mechanisms that underlie the transformation from stimulus to perception are incompletely understood. I am focusing on the inferior temporal cortex (ITC), where many neurons respond to visual stimuli in a highly selective and sophisticated manner. I found a patch organization of color selective cells in the ITC where clusters of neurons showed strong and fine color responses. To understand the higher visual function taking place in the ITC, such as the effect of task demands, memory, and utility, color response in the patch could become a useful target area for single-unit recording and electrical microstimulation. Human psychophysics is carried out to discover new phenomena, visual illusion, and critical features of visual stimuli. Psychophysical measurement is important to support correlative evidence between animal behavior and human perception.

Establishing innovative method for neuroscience

EIIRIS have a strong advantage for the development of sensing devices such as high density electrodes with smart electrical circuits and optical devices. The electrode using vapor-liquid-solid techniques (also known as the Toyohashi probe) is now in trials for effective physiological experiments. An optical imaging system using bundle fibers enables us to monitor the deep-brain functional architecture. We develop these techniques using animals such as mice, rats, and monkeys.

Behavioral study for dichromatic macaque

Our research group found dichromatic macaques a decade ago, and examined their color vision by genetics (Onishi, et al. 1999), electroretinography (Hanazawa, et al. 2000), and behavioral color discrimination performance (Koida, et al. 2013). Further research such as physiological recording in the brain would be expected.

Cognitive Neurotechnology Unit. EEG, neuroimaging, brain-computer interface, face processing, insight processing, perceptual rivalry, facial expression
Tetsuto Minami
EEG, neuroimaging, brain-computer interface, face processing, insight processing, perceptual rivalry, facial expression

Our approach is to use non-invasive methods for measuring brain parameters, such as EEG, to clarify our cognition and behavior and apply these results to brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and neuromarketing.

 

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