KUMAGAI Seiji PD Photo

Moonshot Goal9Realization of a mentally healthy and dynamic society by increasing peace of mind and vitality by 2050.

Program Director (PD)KUMAGAI SeijiProfessor, Institute for the Future of Human Society, Kyoto University


In recent years, social issues related to our mental states have become increasingly severe. The key to creating a mentally healthy and dynamic society is to develop a comprehensive understanding of mental states, and kind interpersonal and intergroup communication that will lead us in a more mutually beneficial direction.
Our R&D program aims to realize increased peace of mind and vitality by creating technology to realize “understanding of individual mental states and transitions” and "mental health support in terms of interpersonal and intergroup communication” so as to increase peace of mind and vitality.


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Message from PD

We aim to realize a mentally healthy and dynamic society through development of technology that provides peace of mind and vitality. I believe it is necessary to discover the mechanisms behind our mental states, and use this practical knowledge for technology that will generate positive mental state transitions for users based on individual preferences. We will promote R&D using comprehensive knowledge gained by the fusion of different fields such as natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. Applying the expertise of enthusiastic researchers gathered from all over the world, together we will achieve our Moonshot Goal.

R&D Projects

Selected in FY2021

Project Manager IMAMIZU Hiroshi
Director, Cognitive Mechanisms Laboratories, ATR Brain Information Communication Research Laboratory Group

This project aims to investigate the dynamics of the human mind based on knowledge of Asian humanities, represented by Buddhism, and brain informatics and apply our investigations to society. We will construct models of mental-state personalities from large-scale surveys and detailed examinations of small groups, and develop technologies that accurately estimate and visualize brain dynamics. Our models and technologies will contribute to the development of meditation methods and their social applications that will enable people to understand themselves deeply, enhance the peace and vitality of their minds, and achieve a society which has compassion towards others as one of its most cherished values.

Project Manager TSUTSUI Ken-Ichiro
Professor, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University

This project aims to develop a "Jizai Hon-yaku-ki (At-will Translator)" supporting people's communications in various situations, which may be useful in realizing an inclusive society. Neuroscienctists, molecular biologists, and VR/AR and robotics engineers will collaborate to develop technologies to quantify states of mind, and methods for perceptual, cognitive and motor interventions. The Jizai Hon-yaku-ki will be produced by combining these technologies and methods, and facilitate the communication of individuals and small groups.

Project Manager HASIDA Koiti
Group director, Center for Advanced Intelligence Program, RIKEN

This project aims to defend freedom of mind and promote value co-creation to strengthen both democracy and economic performance. Currently, centralized AI (CAI) and the attention economy threaten freedom of mind and democracy, and inhibit the creation of value from personal data (PD). This problem can be solved through decentralized management of PD, by which each individual's PD is fully utilized only by their personal AI (PAI). We will demonstrate that PAI creates much higher value than CAI, and will promote the replacement of CAI with PAI along with its democratic governance. We will also assist people to enhance the authenticity and diversity of information they utilize.

Project Manager MATSUMOTO Kenji
Professor, Brain Science Institute, Tamagawa University

This project aims not only to improve "happiness" at the level of individuals, but also to achieve aggregation and equality at the level of society. To this end, we will provide innovative technology to measure interpersonally comparable indicators of "happiness" from brain/neural activity. "Happiness" is enhanced not only by the experience of “well-being,” which benefits each person’s life, but also by the recognition of “agency,” a way of life that each person has individually decided. We will study “well-being” and “agency” in future society using humanities and social science methods and virtual reality technology. Moreover, we will also achieve individual comparison of well-being and agency by elucidating brain indicators of subjective feelings “pleasure” and “aspiration”. In doing so we will bridge neuroscience studies and real-world activities, such as evaluating mobility policies in smart cities.

Project Manager YAMADA Makiko
Group Leader, Institute for Quantum Medical Science, National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology

This project aims to realize a society in which people can live "forward-looking" lives even in the midst of adversity. To this end, we will clarify the diverse and multifaceted components of "positivity," calculate positivity indices by measuring physical posture and brain/physiological reactions, and establish technologies to assist, train, and educate people on positivity factors tailored to their individual situations through positivity support technologies.

Project Manager KIKUCHI Mitsuru
Professor, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kanazawa University

This project aims to realize an environment where everyone can grow up keeping their innate curiosity, thereby creating a society filled with active motivation and originality. Self-esteem damage in childhood can cause resilience to decline in later life, but by effectively preventing this type of problem we can realize a dynamic future society rich in intellectual curiosity. Specifically, we will use brain imaging technology to analyze children's brain characteristics, visualize the effects of interventions through optimized artistic activities, and implement them in society in collaboration with local governments.

Project Manager KIDA Satoshi
Professor, Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo

This project aims to elucidate the mechanisms by which favorite foods induce positive emotions such as pleasure and empathy with others, and the mechanisms by which food values are changed depending on experience. Though bad eating habits can themselves be the cause of disease, stress and ill-health can also result when trying to a convert to a healthier diet. Therefore we will develop technologies to improve food preference and make it enjoyable to eat healthy food, using a rodent model from a neuroscientific viewpoint, and try to achieve the goal of "increasing mental comfort and vitality" using food as a tool.

Project Manager TAKUMI Toru
Professor, School of Medicine, Kobe University

This project aims to visualize mice's brain functional network dynamics in action by developing a virtual reality (VR) system. We will quantify the "state of mind" of mice communicating with each other in a social environment as changes in the functional brain network. Furthermore, we will develop a technology for optical manipulation of the functional brain network using optogenetics to artificially induce changes in the "mental" state and clarify how the functional brain network responds to changes in the ”mental" state and changes in behavior. Research on mice that allows direct manipulation of the brain will help develop a fundamental technology for elucidating the human mind.

Project Manager NAKAMURA Toru
Specially Appointed Professor, Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University

This project aims to construct an objective and universal emotional state space across species by integrating AI technology with Internet of Things (IoT)-based measurements of biological signals in daily life. Furthermore, the project will develop a method to evaluate well-being and ill-being states based on the dynamics of state transitions in the constructed emotional space.

Project Manager HOSODA Chihiro
Associate professor, Graduate school of information science, Tohoku university

This project aims to propose a Child Care Commons by clarifying the requirements for a system that allows diverse people to be involved in "child-rearing" flexibly and responsibly. We propose a system where everyone in society can voluntarily help raise children through the CCC.This system will increase people's peace of mind and vitality in three positions: parents (caregivers), children being cared for, and non-relatives participating in child-rearing. We aim to create a society where each person feels fulfilled, and a diverse range of people can play an active role.

Project Manager MIYAZAKI Katsuhiko
Senior Staff Scientist, Neural Computation Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University

This project aims to examine what kind of difference will occur in the serotonin neural network, which has been shown to play a role in regulating patience for future rewards, when mice perform the same behavior but the purpose of the behavior is different for "attainment of reward" or "avoidance of punishment". We hypothesize that serotonin works to regulate "optimism / pessimism" toward achieving the goal and we will examine the serotonin neural network by neural recording and neural manipulation of task performing mice. By clarifying the neural mechanism of “the optimism that creates patience” or “the pessimism that leads to giving up”, we aim to realize a society in which people can improve their "ability to overcome the difficulties of life" and "vitality of the mind".

Selected in FY2023

Project Manager SHINODA Hiroyuki
Professor, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo

This project focuses on a haptic partner based on noncontact tactile reproduction technology that can replicate various tactile sensations in a wide skin area. The haptic partner is an AI partner that interacts with children through tactile senses in addition to visual and auditory senses. It influences emotions including pleasantness and arousal, stabilizing the children's minds and enabling them to achieve the desired mental response. The haptic partner's appearance and tactile feel change according to each child's preference and situation, becoming the optimum companion for each child.

Project Manager HISHIMOTO Akitoyo
Professor, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine

By using our proprietary epigenome data resource for juvenile suicidal individuals and novel AMPA receptor recognition technology for human brain, we aim to 1) develop of biomarkers that accurately predict the presence or absence of child abuse and suicide risk, and 2) clarify abnormalities in epigenome status, gene expression, and AMPA receptors related to child abuse and suicidal tendency. Through these efforts, we aim to visualize child abuse and suicide risks, which are difficult for children to express themselves, elucidate the biological basis relevant to child abuse and related emotional instability even leading to suicide risk, and identify novel therapeutic targets, and finally realize a society where child abuse and suicide are zero.

Past Project

Project Manager YAMAWAKI Shigeto
Specially appointed professor, Director of Center for Brain, Mind and KANSEI Sciences Research, Hiroshima University

This project aims to innovate in: 1) Awareness Music based on neuroscientific evidence to promote "awareness of one's own and others' hearts" by music and ultrasonic sounds; 2) awareness enhancing technology by Awareness Music using a wearable KANSEI visualization device; 3) technology for improving positive KANSEI such as healing, being moved and sense of unity by Neuro-Bio Feedback; 4) KANSEI communication technology that enhances empathy. We also aim to create new liberal arts through this transdisciplinary research collaboration. The "mental capital" strengthening method by integrating these technologies will be implemented in local communities, aiming to realize a peaceful society through mutual understanding and empathy - in which individuals can spend an active and happy life in the metaverse era of 2050.

Breaking the intergenerational chain of child maltreatment through revolutionary diagnostics and positive intervention.
Project Manager TOMODA Akemi
Director and Professor, Research Center for Child Mental Development, University of Fukui

This project aims to develop and implement breakthrough technologies to realize a society with zero childhood maltreatment and promote sound mental health for all.

  • (1) We will develop and test the feasibility of an epigenomic panel (cross-sectional model) and brain imaging models that detect maltreatment and development in children.
  • (2) Using longitudinal epigenetics, we will build a standard model of childhood development that reflects environmental influences for children up to age three.
  • (3) We will conduct a clinical trial of robot-mediated remote-childcare support for families with childcare difficulties.

These technologies will assist parents in nurturing their children and prevent maltreatment through early detection and positive interventions.


Click here to see the list of advisors

INOKUCHI Kaoru* Distinguished Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama
NISHIDA Shin'ya* Professor, Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University
MORITA Akira* Representative Director, Next Generation Fundamental Policy
ENDO Kaoru Professor Emeritus, Gakushuin University
OSAKA Naoyuki Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University
SAKURAI Takeshi Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba
DOYA Kenji Professor, Neural Computation Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology
NAGATA Tomoya Managing Partner, D3 LLC
HAYASHI-TAKAGI Akiko Team Leader, Center for Brain Science, RIKEN
HORI Koichi Executive Director, National Institutes for the Humanities
MIURA Asako Professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University
MURAI Toshiya Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University
YOKOSAWA Kazuhiko Professor, Economics and Informatics Department, Tsukuba Gakuin University

*Sub Program Director

News & Events


Goal 9 Secretariat
Department of Moonshot Research and Development Program, Japan Science and Technology Agency