Decoding and Controlling Brain Information PRESTO Japan Science and Technology Agency

Creation of innovative fundamental technologies for utilizing information related to action and judgment in the brain

about "Decoding and Controlling Brain Information"

Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMI) decode information in the brain when bodily movement or judgment is made, and enable mental control of external devices to aid in physical functions. Research in BMI contributes to creation of innovations for recovering or supplementing physical functions limited by disability, etc.

Accordingly, this strategic sector aims at creation of unconventional, innovative fundamental technologies necessary for development of BMI: e.g., a technology for retrieving information from brain activities and decoding brain information, a device control technology for controlling external devices based on the obtained information in the brain, a technology for feeding external information back to the brain, and other technologies.

The area "Decoding and controlling brain information" is supervised by Mitsuo Kawato, Director and ATR Fellow, ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories.

about the Concept-Figure

The design figure above symbolizes the innovative integration of technologies and brain sciences at which we are aiming in this research project. The softly-weaving robot, dancing a Japanese traditional dance (Awa-Odori), is closely communicating with the brain. An Awa-Odori robot has once been developed by Dr. Mitsuo Kawato, the supervisor of this research program. Close association of our program with in vitro biosciences is shown by grape-like particles, and star-shaped "neurons". A concentric circle shows our dream expanding into the universe, including the establishment of BMI technologies based on concrete theories and experimental findings.

Our research program, "Decoding and Controlling Brain Information", covers quite wide areas in basic and applied brain sciences, in addition to experimental and theoretical neurosciences, and engineering sciences creating robots or developing new elaborate electrodes. They include not only the brain research in biosciences and neurogenetics, but also humanities such as neuropsychology, neuro-economics, management and neuro-ethics. We would integrate concepts in these broad disciplines, and create a new horizon at the crossing point, where productive application of BMI will be close at hand.

What's cool?

The 8th PRESTO Meeting of the Research Area was held at Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center: 2012/6/22(Fri) - 24(Sun)
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The Researcher Naotsugu Tsuchiya (3rd Phase) was promoted to Associate Professor of School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Monash University in Australia: 2012/1/1 (Sun)
Schedule of the future PRESTO BMI Meetings in 2012
【The 8th Meeting】Confirmed!
Place:Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center

【The 9th Meeting】(Subject to Change) 
Place:THE LUIGANS (Fukuoka)
The 7th PRESTO Meeting of the Research Area was held at YAMAHA Resort Tsumagoiin Shizuoka: 2011/12/2 (Fri) to 2011/12/4 (Sun)
The 6th PRESTO Meeting of the Research Area was held at Art Land Hotel Tateshina in Nagano: 2011/7/23 (Sat) to 2011/7/25 (Sun)
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