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RIKEN Information R&D and Strategy Headquarters Psychological Process Research Team

Team Leader: Wataru Sato (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

Wataru Sato (Ph.D.)

We conduct research to elucidate the computational mechanisms of human mind (emotions, cognition, and behavior) to develop robots with mind.

Specifically, we conduct the following research.

  • Computational elucidation of human mind; its implementation in robots collaborating with engineers.
  • Psychological evaluation of robots' functions.
  • Interdisciplinary research across psychology, informatics, and robotics, especially on emotional communication.

Main Research Fields

  • Complex Systems

Related Research Fields

  • Engineering
  • Informatics
  • Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering
  • Mathematical & Physical Sciences
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biology
  • Medicine, Dentistry & Pharmacy
  • Experimental psychology
  • Basic / Social brain science
  • Intelligent robotics


  • Emotion
  • Facial expression
  • Social interaction
  • Human-robot interaction
  • Neuroimaging

Selected Publications

  • 1. Hsu, C.-T., Sato, W., Kochiyama, T., Nakai, R., Asano, K., Abe, N., &Yoshikawa, S.
    "Enhanced mirror neuron network activity and effective connectivity during live interaction among female subjects."
    Neuroimage (in press)
  • 2. Sato, W., & Kochiyama, T.
    "Exploration of emotion dynamics sensing using trapezius EMG and fingertip temperature."
    Sensors, 22, 6553. (2022)
  • 3. Sawada, R., Sato, W., Nakashima, R., & Kumada, T.
    "How are emotional facial expressions detected rapidly and accurately? A diffusion model analysis."
    Cognition, 229, 105235. (2022)
  • 4. Namba, S., Sato, W., Nakamura, K., & Watanabe, K.
    "Computational process of sharing emotion: An authentic information perspective."
    Frontiers in Psychology, 13, 849499. (2022)
  • 5. Sawabe, T., Honda, S., Sato, W., Ishikura, T., Kanbara, M., Yoshikawa, S., Fujimoto, Y., & Kato, H.
    "Robot touch with speech boosts positive emotions."
    Scientific Reports, 12, 6884. (2022)
  • 6. Namba, S., Sato, W., & Matsui, H.
    "Spatio-temporal properties of amused, embarrassed and pained smiles."
    Journal of Nonverbal Behavior (in press)
  • 7. Saito, A., Sato, W., & Yoshikawa, S.
    "Rapid detection of neutral faces associated with emotional value among older adults. Journal of Gerontology."
    Psychological Sciences, 77, 1219-1228. (2022)
  • 8. Sato, W., Namba, S., Yang, D., Nishida, S., Ishi, C., & Minato, T.
    "An android for emotional interaction: Spatiotemporal validation of its facial expressions.
    Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 800657. (2022)
  • 9. Uono, S., Sato, W., Kochiyama, T., Yoshimura, S., Sawada, R., Kubota, Y., Sakihama, M., & Toichi, M.
    "The structural neural correlates of atypical facial expression recognition in autism spectrum disorder."
    Brain Imaging and Behavior, 16, 1428-1440. (2022)
  • 10. Saito, A., Sato, W., & Yoshikawa, S.
    "Rapid detection of neutral faces associated with emotional value."
    Cognition and Emotion, 36, 546-559. (2022)

Recent Research Results

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Wataru Sato
Team Leader

Core members

Chun-Ting Hsu
Research Scientist
Akie Saito
Research Scientist
Shushi Namba
Research Scientist
Koh Shimokawa
Technical Staff I

Contact Information

3rd Floor, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International
2-2-2 Hikaridai Seika-cho, Sorakugun, Kyoto
619-0288 Japan (Kansai Science City)
Email: wataru.sato.ya [at] riken.jp