Brain-Science and Society (2001-2009)

PUBLIC NEEDS for this R&D area:

Area Director:
Fellow, Hitachi, Ltd.

Social problems to be solved:

  • Lack of methods to assess changes in sociability(*1) and its precursors(*2) among children and adults in relation to the development of brain
  • Lack of data and an understanding of children's physical, psychological and linguistic development and the relationships with various environmental factors(*3)

An examination of the entire learning process from the prenatal period to the end of life through cohort studies(*4) is needed.

  • (*1) An ability to understand and interact well with others, including social skills
  • (*2) Elements in social change that effect sociability in human development
  • (*3) I.e., the development of an advanced information society and a declining birthrate
  • (*4) A form of study which tracks the same people over a long period of time, used in medicine and social science to look into the relationship between a group of people (i.e., in a defined area or with a common identity) and various elements of their lives (i.e., health, customary behaviors and environments)


  1. To contribute to the cultivation of better learning methods, education systems and social infrastructures through integrated research of brain-science and various other academic fields as well as practical hand-on knowledge(*5)
  2. To examine the development process in children's sociability, to propose a hypothesis for the development patterns present therein, and to identify determinant factors in social and physical environments through cohort studies
  • (*5) Social and natural sciences (i.e., developmental psychology and linguistics) and clinical practice and field experience

R&D Program: Brain-Science and Education (FY2001-2009)

R&D Project: Identification of Factors Affecting Cognitive and Behavioral Development of Children(*6) in Japan Based on a Cohort Study; Japan Children's Study (FY2004-2008)

  • To conduct research in pursuit of Goal 2 through cooperation and collaboration among a number of teams with full-time and part-time researchers within and outside of RISTEX under the leadership and management of the Project Director
Project Director:
Professor, Graduate School of Medicine and Engineering, University of Yamanashi

* Research methods used in this R&D area are based on behavioral observations and are non-invasive to the brain functions of subjects

  • (*6) In this project, children of ages 0 to 3 and 5 to 8 were chosen as subjects