Psychophysical and Neural Studies of Perception and Decision Making in the Humans
While we continue to examine the dynamic/adaptive nature of human visual perception – including its crossmodal, representational, sensory-motor, developmental, emotional, and neurophysiological aspects, we continue our research on "Implicit Brain Functions" and "Interpersonal Implicit Communication" supported by JST (Japan Science and Technology Corporation) CREST (Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology, started in April, 2010). In these projects, we focus on implicit cognitive processes, emotional decision making, social communication, plasticity, and their neural correlates.
Vigorous collaborations have been conducted between our psychophysics laboratory here, and the CREST Japan site located at NTT Communication Science Laboratories, as well as Harvard MGH, Boston University, Gordon College London, Occidental College, and MetaModal Inc. Besides, we continue collaborative efforts on "social brain," under the Caltech-Tamagawa gCOE (grand Center Of Excellence) program (supported by MEXT, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan, which was started in September, 2008).
Using a variety of methods including eye tracking, high-density EEG, fMRI and MEG, we examine how exactly peripheral sensory stimuli, neural activity in the sensory cortex, and the mental experience of perception are related to each other in the highly plastic fashion. In particular, we aim to understand implicit, as opposed to explicit or conscious, somatic and neural processes that lead to, and thus predict, conscious emotional decision such as preference. Amongst all, most challenging on-going attempts in the laboratory include: (1) the intriguing interactions between predictive processes (prior to and thus predicting the mental event or behavior) and postdictive processes (posterior); (2) the inter-brain causal connectivity under social cooperative interactions; (3) remote tDCS modulation of subcortical reward system; and (4) sensory substitution by visual-auditory devise.