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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. Saito, A., Sato, W., and Yoshikawa, S.:
    "Rapid detection of neutral faces associated with emotional value"
    Cognition and Emotion, 36, 546-559 (2022).
  • 2. Sato, W., Namba, S., Yang, D., Nishida, S., Ishi, C., and Minato, T.:
    "An android for emotional interaction: Spatiotemporal validation of its facial expressions"
    Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 800657 (2022).
  • 3. Sawabe, T., Honda, S., Sato, W., Ishikura, T., Kanbara, M., Yoshikawa, S., Fujimoto, Y., and Kato, H.:
    "Robot touch with speech boosts positive emotions"
    Scientific Reports, 12, 6884 (2022).
  • 4. Uono, S., Sato, W., Kochiyama, T., Yoshimura, S., Sawada, R., Kubota, Y., Sakihama, M., and Toichi, M.:
    "The structural neural correlates of atypical facial expression recognition in autism spectrum disorder"
    Brain Imaging and Behavior, 16, 1428-1440 (2022).
  • 5. Sato, W., Ikegami, A., Ishihara, S., Nakauma, M., Funami, T., Yoshikawa, S., and Fushiki, T.:
    "Brow and masticatory muscle activity senses subjective hedonic experiences during food consumption"
    Nutrients, 13, 4216 (2021).
  • 6. Namba, S., Sato, W., Osumi, M., and Shimokawa, K.:
    "Assessing automated facial action unit detection systems for analyzing cross-domain facial expression databases"
    Sensors, 21, 4222: 1-18 (2021).
  • 7. Sato, W., Usui, N., Sawada, R., Kondo, A., Toichi, M., and Inoue, Y.:
    "Impairment of emotional expression detection after unilateral medial temporal structure resection"
    Scientific Reports, 11, 20617 (2021).
  • 8. Nishimura, S., Nakamura, T., Sato, W., Kanbara, M., Fujimoto, Y., Kato, H., and Hagita, N.:
    "Vocal synchrony of robots boosts positive affective empathy"
    Applied Sciences, 11, 2502 (2021).
  • 9. Sato, W., Murata, K., Uraoka, Y., Shibata, K., Yoshikawa, S., and Furuta, M.:
    "Emotional valence sensing using a wearable facial EMG device"
    Scientific Reports, 11, 5757 (2021).
  • 10. Hsu, C.-T., Sato, W., and Yoshikawa, S.:
    "Enhanced emotional and motor responses to live vs. videotaped dynamic facial expressions"
    Scientific Reports, 10, 16825 (2020).

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

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