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decsion making
Research Strategy
 Orienting reaction after stimulus, general decision making under a task condition and preference judgment under awareness, these three are predicted to overlap considerably but to be different from each other in functions and neuronal mechanism. This is still within assumption. As research objectives, we are going to clarify these three by a combination of psychophysics, neural activity measurement and direct stimulating method to the brain. So we set up following three themes.

1) Identification of preceding process before preference judgment: With action measurement (such as eye tracking and pupil diameter measuring), EEG/EMG, event-related fMRI and so on, we will identify orienting behavior pattern and neural signal which are preceding and predicting the subject’s preference judgment with awareness. At the current state, we found statistically predictable orienting pattern only in eye movement, then we set one of the goals which the prediction is rigid in each trial.

2) Understanding peculiarity of preference judgment: What is peculiar in preference judgment especially in emotional decision making among various kinds of decision making? We use action measurement, EEG/EMG, event-related fMRI and so on to answer this question. In doing this we pay attention to not only the interrelationship between stimulus and orienting reaction as well as neural signal and behavioral scales, but also causal relationship between them.

3) An experimental trial to operate preference judgment: We inspect a hypothesis in which “implicit process precedes subject’s preference judgment and has a significant influence on final decision”. In concrete, we will observe subjects’ decision making under operating the signals identified in 1) and 2) described above by the methods such as neuro-feedback, TMS and so on. As a preliminary experiment, we study neuro-feedback control by fMRI signals from motor cortex and vision cortex, and its effect on functions of them. In addition, regarding to the principls of familiarity and novelty as related to preference judgment of visual stimuli, relationships between orienting/attention reaction and motor programming and cognitive cue in learning related to reward, we will be collaborating with other three groups.

Staff Members
Group Leader Katsumi Watanabe
Researcher Tomio Jindo
Hackjin Kim
Eiko Shimojo
Michael Campos
Sota Shimizu
Address of
Research Laboratory
1200 E, California Blvd. M/C 139-74, Pasadena, CA 91125-7400
California Institute of Technology
Phone: +1-626-395-2308
FAX: +1-626-792-8583

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Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology 
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