Centers & Labs

RIKEN Brain Science Institute

Laboratory for Symbolic Cognitive Development

Laboratory Head: Atsushi Iriki (D.D.S., Ph.D.)
Atsushi  Iriki(D.D.S., Ph.D.)

We try to uncover evolutionary precursors of human higher cognitive functions grounded onto physical morphologies and patterns of structured bodily actions, based on behavioral and neurophysiological analyses on chronic macaque monkeys, which were trained to use tools and other high-tech apparatus. By sharing these machineries among individuals, we extrapolate the mechanisms to constitute bases of communicatory functions, and eventually understand neural mechanism to form intellectual and alstristic society to comprise humanistic civilization environment. Further, we are aiming at elucidating neurobiological mechanisms, through the development of Marmoset experimental models, of evolutionary as well as developmental processes that give rise to symbolic cognitive functions subserving inference, metaphysical thoughts, etc. that characterize human intelligence.

Research Subjects

  • Learning-induced expansion of primates' cerebral cortex and neural response properties
  • Interactions among multiple subjectives as bases of intellectual environment
  • Marmoset as a primate model to reveal neurobiological mechanisms of human intellectual evolution
  • Cortical information processing of human-specific cognitive bias

Selected Publications

  1. Bruner E, Iriki A.:
    "Extending mind, visuospatial integration, and the evolution of the parietal lobes in the human genus"
    Quaternary International, in press. (2015)
  2. Hihara S, Taoka M, Tanaka M, Iriki A.:
    "Visual responsiveness of the neurons in secondary somatosensory area and its surrounding parietal opperculum regions of awake macaque monkeys"
    Cereb Cortex, 25, 4535-4550.(2015)
  3. Hashikawa T, Nakatomi R, Iriki A.:
    "Current models of the marmoset brain"
    Neurosci Res, 93,116-127.(2015)
  4. Hashimoto T, Kitajo K, Kajihara T, Ueno K, Suzuki C, Asamizuya T, Iriki A.:
    "Neural correlates of electrointestinography: insular activity modulated by signals recorded from the abdominal surface."
    Neuroscience, 289, 1-8.(2015)
  5. Pfenning AR, Hara E, Whitney O, Rivas MV, Wang R, Roulhac P, Howard JT, Wirthli M, Lovell PV,
    Ganapathy G, Mouncastle J, Moseley MA, Thompson JW, Soderblom EJ, Iriki A, Kato M, Gilbert
    MTP, Zhang G, Bakken T, Bongaarts A, Bernard A, Lein E, Mello CV, Hartemink AJ, Jarvis ED.:
    "Convergent transcriptional specializations in the brains of humans and song learning birds."
    Science, 346, no. 6215, doi: 10.1126/science.1256846.(2014)
  6. Ferrari PF, Tramacere A, Simpson EA, Iriki A.:
    "Mirror neurons through the lens of epigenetics."
    Tr Cogn Sci, 17, 450-457.(2013)
  7. Yoshida K, Saito N, Iriki A, and Isoda M.:
    "Social error monitoring in macaque frontal cortex."
    Nat Neurosci (2012)
  8. Iriki A, and Taoka M.:
    "Triadic (ecological, neural, cognitive) niche construction: a scenario of human brain evolution extrapolating tool use and language from the control of reaching actions."
    Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 367(1585), 10-23 (2012)
  9. Quallo MM, Price CJ, Ueno K, Asamizuya T, Cheng K, Lemon RN, and Iriki A.:
    "Gray and white matter changes associated with tool-use learning in macaque monkeys."
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 106, 18379-84 (2009)
  10. Iriki A.:
    "The neural origins and implications of imitation, mirror neurons and tool use."
    Curr Opin Neurobiol, 16(6), 660-7 (2006)

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Atsushi Iriki
Laboratory Head

Core Members

Aaron Louis Bramson
Research Scientist
Miki Taoka
Research Specialist
Reiko Nakatomi
Technical Staff I
Masayuki Inada
Technical Staff I
Masakado Saiki
Technical Staff I
Taku Koike
Technical Staff I
Nobuko Nakajima
Assistant

Contact information

2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

Email: iriki [at] brain.riken.jp

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