Symposia / Seminars

11. Special seminar by Prof. Jari Hietanen (University of Tampere, Finland)

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"Watching eyes: to see and to be seen"

Date:28 February, 2018 (Wed.) 11:00 -
Venue:Room 113 Bldg.3, U-Tokyo Komaba Campus
(No prior registration and admission required. Talk in English.)
Speaker: Prof. Jari K. Hietanen, Human Information Processing Laboratory, Faculty of Social Sciences/Psychology, University of Tampere, Finland

Human social interaction is guided by a complex system of perceptual and higher-level cognitive, affective, and motivational processes. One essential perceptual cue in regulating interaction between individuals is gaze direction. Gaze conveys information about the direction of attention. A person gazing towards another person signals that his or her attention is directed to that person. The observer of another’s direct gaze, in turn, perceives to be a target of another’s attention.

In my presentation, I will describe behavioural and psychophysiological studies showing the effects of another’s direct gaze on an observer’s attention and affective responses. I will present evidence that the effects of seeing another’s direct gaze are based not (only) on perception of the visual stimulus of ‘direct gaze’, but rather they reflect the observer’s attributions of being a target to another’s attention and the possibility for reciprocal interaction.

10. Talk by Post Doc from Germany @ U-Tokyo 

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Announcement from Prof. Kameda of The University of Tokyo.
A German Post Doc from Göttingen University will have self-introduction talk as follows; He will be staying in my labo till March 2nd. No prior registration required. Please join us!

Date: 31 January (Wed.) 16:00〜17:00
Venue:Faculty seminar room @ Fl.2 of Faculty of law & letters Bldg.2, U-Tokyo Hongo campus
Speaker:Tobias Kordsmayer(Georg August University Göttingen, Germany)
Title:Intra- and Intersexual Selection on Men: Their Relative Importance and Hormonal Underpinnings

Male competition is an important influence on the distribution of resources, such as mates, food or territory, and has been shown to be more strongly implicated, compared to female mate choice, in sexual selection on men. In two studies, the role of different facets of men’s personality, sexually dimorphic traits and hormones in competitive behaviour and sexual selection was investigated. Firstly, increases in the hormone testosterone (T) have been found after intrasexual competitions and exposure to females. Such T reactivity may also affect relevant personality state changes that are observable to others, whereby exact associations, also under potential buffering effects of Cortisol (C), are unclear. In a preregistered study, we aimed at inducing T increases in young men (N=165) through dyadic intrasexual competitions while exposed to a female experimenter. We investigated self-reported and video-based observer-rated personality state changes, as captured by the Interpersonal Circumplex and social impressions, in relation to hormonal levels. Results revealed increases in competitiveness, dominance and self-assurance, relative to a control group and moderated by T reactivity and partly by TxC interactions. This provides further insights into how hormonal and personality responses to challenges are intertwined in men, and partly supports a role of T in mediating a life history trade-off between mating/competing and parenting, as well as signalling dominance to rivals and potential mates. Secondly, in the same sample of men, we sought to provide further evidence on the effects of men’s physical dominance and sexual attractiveness on mating success and hence in sexual selection. Objective measures and subjective ratings of male sexually dimorphic traits (height, vocal and facial masculinity, upper body size from 3D scans, physical strength, and baseline testosterone) and observer perceptions of physical dominance and sexual attractiveness were assessed and associated with mating success in a partly longitudinal design. Results revealed that physical dominance, but not sexual attractiveness, predicted mating success. Physical dominance mediated associations of upper body size, physical strength, as well as vocal and facial physical dominance and attractiveness with mating success. These findings thus suggest a greater importance of intrasexual competition than female choice in human male sexual selection.
Keywords: sexual selection, life history, male competition, hormones, personality states

9. U-Tokyo Social Psychology Seminar

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Announcement from Prof. Kameda of The University of Tokyo.
We're holding Social Psychology Seminar as follows;
No registration in advance and no entry fee is required. Please come and join us!

Date:14 February (Wed.) 16:30〜18:00 (estimated)
Venue:Faculty seminar room @ Fl.2 of Faculty of law & letters Bldg.2, U-Tokyo Hongo campus
Speaker:Dr. Makoto Miyakoshi(University of California San Diego, Institute for Neural Computation)
Title: I see a solution—an EEG scenery a Japanese post-doc saw in UC San Diego
* The presentation slides (PowerPoint) are in English while talk is in Japanese.

I will talk about three topics: future, present, and the past of electroencephalogram (EEG) research. In the first part, I will talk about the future of EEG and electrocorticogram (ECoG) studies from the viewpoint of brain-computer interface (BCI) application. I will introduce a concept, tentatively called “Makoto’s pessimism”, by showing my preliminary observation that dimension reduction using principal component analysis (PCA) to keep 95% of data variance produced only 9/256 dimensions for EEG but as many as 78/137 for ECoG. I will raise a fundamental skepticism whether scalp EEG has sufficient degrees of freedom to represent complexity of mind.
In the second part, I will talk about the present of EEG research. I will first briefly introduce an example of the advanced signal processing on EEG including independent component analysis (ICA) and Multivariate Autoregressive (MVAR) modeling. Next, I will discuss the “Vacation of the ground truth” in EEG research as a fundamental limitation. Although in MRI CuSO4 solution can serve as a ground truth, no simple solution is available for EEG. According to SPM website, fMRI has been used as ‘X-ray of the experimental effect of interest’; EEG has been used as a ‘neural correlate’ to serve a psychologists’ box models as biophysical independent variable whose generative mechanism is unknown/uncared. Because of this limitation, there is always circularity between assumptions of EEG analyses and interpretation of the results, and an issue of relativism across analysis methods and models which produce incommensurability (e.g. what does EEG fractal analysis mean to ERP researchers?) I will mention the current EEG situation as “Adolesc-i-ence”, which means immature and still growing. I will discuss confusion between good science and good engineering, and absence of ground truth cannot be and should not be substituted by signal processing.
In the third part, I will talk about the past of EEG research from my school (i.e., UCSD and/or Scott Makeig). I will discuss that EEG has served to a box model. I will introduce a concept “One-bit information generator”, a device that gives yes-or-no answer to a proposed hypothesis in an experiment. However, using this logic as Popperian Defense, the same analysis routine has been used over half a century in EEG research. I will criticize this situation as evolutionary cul-de-sac, and to overcome it I will emphasize importance of engineering in EEG research. I will introduce ICA, and will discuss how it should relate to the ground truth of EEG -- its specific strengths as well as weaknesses.

Makoto Miyakoshi is an assistant project scientist in Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience (SCCN), Institute for Neural Computation, University of California San Diego. He received Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy in Waseda University in 2003 (mentor Teruhisa Tajima), Master’s degree and PhD in Psychology in Nagoya University in 2005 and 2011 respectively (mentor Hideki Ohira). After working at National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology between 2008 and 2011 using MRI (mentor Toshiharu Nakai), he moved with his family to San Diego and started post-doc researcher in computational neuroscience laboratory using EEG until 2017 (mentor Scott Makeig). His main research fields are signal processing for EEG analysis and clinical applications. He is an associate developer of EEGLAB, the most widely used free open-source software library in the field.

8. Empathy Symposia @ Neuro2017(1S03e)

“One for all, all for one: Macroscopic view of neural peptides in social neuroscience”

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Date:20 July 2017(Thu.)17:00 - 19:00 
Venue:International Conference Room @ International Conference Hall, Makuhari Messe
(Need Registration and admission for The 40th JNSS Annual Meeting, Talk in English)

 Opening Remarks    Takefumi Kikusui (Azabu University)
 "Developmental role of oxytocin on social behaviors in mice"
 Kazutaka Mogi (Azabu University)
 "Oxytocin, maternal behavior, and synaptic plasticity"
 Ioana Carcea (New York University)
 "Social-context dependent oxytocin control on prefrontal cortex" 
 Miho Nakajima (New York University Medical Center)
 "Ventral CA1 neurons store social memory"
 Teruhiro Okuyama(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
 "Oxytocin and vasopressin affect different behaviors through their actions in the CA2 hippocampal area"  
 W. Scott Young(National Institute of Mental Health)
 Discussion    Teruhiro Okuyama (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
For details Click here!

7. Joint Int'l Symposia with ICP2016, Japan Neuroscience Society and Elsevier

"Brain and Social Mind - The Origin of Empathy and Morality"

Click here for poster download

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Date:July 23, 2016(SAT)10:00 - 17:30
Venue:Pacifico Yokohama Convention Center
(No registration required・Admission Free・Presentation in English)

 Opening Remarks
     Toshikazu Hasegawa (The Univ. of Tokyo)
 Opening Remarks of Morning Session
     "Empathy and Social Communication"
     Minoru Asada (Osaka University)
 "Animal Emotions and Empathy"
     Frans de Waal (Emory University)

<11:05-11:20 COFFEE BREAK>

 "Communication Robots"
     Hiroshi Ishiguro (Osaka University)
 Panel Discussion "Empathy and Social Communication
     Ralph Adolphs (Caltech), de Waal, Asada, Ishiguro

<12:30-14:30  LUNCH BREAK>

 Opening Remarks of Afternoon Session
     "Evolutional and Neural basis of Morality"
     Toshio Yamagishi (Hitotsubashi University)
 "Human Morality: Features and Bugs"
     Joshua Greene (Harvard University)
 “Emotions, feelings, and social behavior: implications for morality”
     Ralph Adolphs (California Institute of Technology)

<16:20-16:40  COFFEE BREAK>

 Comments  Yukihiro Nobuhara & Tatsuya Kameda (The Univ. of Tokyo)
 Panel Discussion
     "How we respond to the tribal nature of human morality
     in designing our future social institutions"
      Churchland, Greene, Nobuhara, Kameda and Yamagishi
 Closing Remarks  Toshio Yamagishi
For further details, refer to Symposium Website
We are looking forward to your participation!!

6. Co-organize the special lecture with JSLS and HBES-J

"Special Lecture of Prof. Dan Sperber"

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Click here for poster download

Date:April 24, 2016(Sun)14:00 - 16:00 (13:30 Reception starts)
Venue:21 KOMCEE Lecture Hall @ U-Tokyo Komaba Campus
(No prior registration・Admission free・Talk in English)

 "Opening remarks/Outline of Empathetic Systems"
     Toshikazu Hasegawa(Univ. of Tokyo)
 "Empathetic Systems in Communication"
     Kazuhide Hashiya (Kyushu University)
     Dan Sperber(CNRS(France), CEU(Hungary))

Prof. Sperber is known to all over the world as an advocate of "relevance theory" and "epidemiology of representations theory". Do not miss this rare chance! We look forward to your participation.

5. Empathy Symposia @ Neuro2014(S3-B-3)

“The neural basis of the empathetic systems”

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Date:Sept. 13, 2014(Sat.)17:00 - 19:00 
Venue:Room501 @ Conference Center, Pacifico Yokohama
(Registration and Admission fee for Neuro2014 is required, Presentation in English)

 Opening Remarks    Takefumi Kikusui (Azabu University)
 "Neural circuits for empathetic fear learning in mice"
 Hee-Sup Shin(Korea Institute of Science & Technology)
 "Evolution of cooperative behavior and fairness in monkeys"  
 Kazuo Fujita(Kyoto University)
 "The brain mechanisms for schadenfreude and fairness in humans"  
 Hidehiko Takahashi (Kyoto University)
 "Spontaneous theory of mind and its absence in autism spectrum disorders"  
 Atsushi Senju (Birkbeck, University of London)
For further information, please click Here

4. 2nd International Workshop on Ultrasonic Communication in mice and rats

“ Ultrasonic Communication in Rodents ”

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Dates:August 4(Mon)10:00 - August 5(Tue)12:30, 2014

Venue:21KOMCEE Lecture Hall @ The University of Tokyo Komaba Campus
(Admission Free, Registration required, Presentation in English)

For more details, please refer to Ultrasonic Communication in Rodents

3. A joint workshop of Social Psychology and Neuroethology

“Making of Humanities: Biological Roots of Mathematics and Cooperation”

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Date:July 28, 2014(Mon)09:30 - 15:00 
Venue:The Almuni Hall FURATE @ Hokkaido University Sapporo Campus
(Admission free、No registration required、Presentation in English)
Speakers :  

【Session 1】

   Giorgio Vallortigara (University of Trento, Italy)
   Elisabeth Brannon (Duke University, USA)
   Tetsuro Matsuzawa (Kyoto University, Japan)

【Session 2】

   Shinya Yamamoto (Kobe University, Japan)
   Naoki Masuda (University of Bristol, UK)
   Tatsuya Kameda (Hokkaido University, Japan)
  Commentators:Shinsuke Shimojo (Caltech, USA), Michael Platt(Duke University, USA)
  Organizers:Toshiya Matsushima, Tatsuya Kameda & Maki Tanaka (Hokkaido University, Japan)

For more details, please click HERE

2. "Empathy" Symposium @ The 74th Annual Meeting of the JSAP

“Higher behavioral functions in animals; their mind and evolution”

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Date:July 20, 2014(Sun)13:00 - 15:00 
Venue:Inuyama International Sightseeing Center "FREUD"
(Registration and admission for The 74th Annual Meeting required、Presentation in English)

 Opening Remarks 
 Lecture 1 Ayaka Takimoto (The University of Tokyo)
 Lecture 2 Teresa Romero(The University of Tokyo)
 Lecture 3 Peggy Mason(Chicago University)
For more details, please refer toHERE

1. International Symposium by Phylogeny Group

“ Neural and Behavioral Mechanisms of Higher Cognitive Function: From Rats to Humans ”

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Date:Jul 17 (Thu), 2014 14:30 - 18:30
Venue:North Building Conference Hall @ Keio University Mita Campus
(Admission free、No registration required、Presentation in English)

For more details, please refer to Flyer