Researcher's Profile

Biography

July 1991 Research Associate, Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba
June 1992 Senior Lecturer, Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba
May 1999 Associate Professor, Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba
August 2003 Professor, Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba
April 2004 Professor, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo (UTokyo)
April 2006 Professor, RCAST, UTokyo
April 2016 Director, RCAST, UTokyo

Research Interests

The brains of animals switch their processing mode in order to exhibit behaviors that adapt them to a diverse range of environments by dynamically modifying the neural system in response to internal and external conditions. The aim of our research is to clarify the basic neural mechanisms for generating adaptive behaviors (or intelligence) using the interdisciplinary approaches of informatics, engineering and biology. As a model for the brain system we use insect brains that consist of 10^5 neurons. We have taken a combined approach at various levels, from genes over single neurons to neural networks, behavior, modeling, and robotics, owing to their seamless accessibility to a wide variety of methodological approaches. To examine the neural basis of behavior, we implemented a model of the neural circuit and integrated it with a mobile robot. Moreover, in order to understand the dynamics of the neural circuitry, we have developed an "insectrobot hybrid system" in which the insect or an isolated insect brain controls a robot. By comparing the hybrid system and model of the neural circuit of the insect, we can continuously improve the insect-brain model until we obtain a full emulation and complete understanding of the mechanisms of adaptability in the insect brain. Our research will lead to investigating the bio-robot hybrid system, and also to establishing basic technologies for operating these behaviors by artificially controlling the brain functions.

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