D.D.S., Ph.D., D.M.Sc.
Laboratory for Symbolic Cognitive Development
[Closed Mar. 2023]
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We aim to find out evolutionary and neurobiological mechanisms that lead human mind to emerge in the primate brain that subserves our modern civilized societies. Utilizing cutting-edge molecular genetic, functional imaging, and complexity mathematics technologies, we will pursuit fundamental principles of how the human mind emerges through interactions of biological matters, and try to develop and implement quantitative evaluation methods for the length of its dynamical transitions from earlylife through aging processes, both in human and non-human primates, that should eventually contribute to foster human healthy and sound societies.
Concretely, we try to uncover evolutionary precursors of human higher cognitive functions grounded onto bodily morphologies and patterns of structured physical actions, based on behavioral and neurophysiological analyses on non-human primates, which were trained to use tools and other hightech apparatuses. Further, we will elucidate neurobiological mechanisms of evolutionary aswell as developmental processes that give rise to human symbolic cognitive functions subserving inference, language, metaphysical thoughts, sef-consciousness, etc. that characterize human intelligence, which will be considered through the viewpoint of “mind-body interactions”, by reexamining the dynamical functional networks among brain and multiple internal organs, and immune systems in particular.
We also attempt to identify “gut-brain axis” contributing to regulatory mechanisms of early-life behavioral development of non-human primates in the wild-life habitat that using tools for foraging, to understand the functional relationships among mind, body and environment, through which we eventually try to establish methods to quantify its life-long transitionfor objective evaluation of dynamical social interaction mechanisms subserving such phenomena.
- Dynamical analyses of interactions among brain and multiple internal organ networks under the view of mind-body interactions.
- Mechanisms of primate brain evolution through the theory of "Triadic Niche-Construction" (interactions among brain, cognitive behavior, and environment).
- Principle of higher mental functions including self-consciousness to be elucidated through functional and structural brain imaging.