KANSEI Brain and Information Sciences

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(URL to independent Japanese site)


Purpose of Research

In recent years, attempts have been made to elucidate the behavioral decisions and sensibilities of individuals using the latest technology and data in brain science, as typified by neuro-marketing. This has led to research, particularly in Europe and US, which attempt to develop attractive products and improve people's happiness. Meanwhile, Japanese people are reputed to be rich in sensitivity and the spirit of “hospitality.” Despite the fact that fields such as KANSEI information processing (same name in Japanese) that handles human sensitivity by information engineering are being developed, collaboration between brain science, science / engineering fields, and liberal arts fields such as economics, management, and education, has been delayed. Therefore, at this research center, we aim to apply human sensitivity / knowledge / measurement of knowledge / modelization / formularization and industry / society, through cooperation with members of the science and liberal arts faculties at our university. For this purpose, we will obtain the cooperation of the members of the Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences, as well as the Graduate School of Engineering, Graduate School of Urban Innovation, Graduate School of International Social Science, Department of Education and Human Sciences, and the NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting Inc., as a cooperating organization outside of the university. Research activities will be pursued as an example of a rare research center among Japanese universities that strongly advances the fusion of research.


Research content / methods

At our research center, we first discussed a number of research topics with our faculty members and related institutions, so that we would share basics concepts and aspirations such as “What should we achieve?” or “What kind of benefits / merits are there?” We think that this is the most important factor even in research that combines different fields. Next, by reviewing each project and proceeding specifically, we are pursuing research that fuses liberal arts and science in a way that overcomes the difference in values between different fields. For example, with respect to COI STREAM, a large-scale project by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, which was adopted in FY2013 and is scheduled to continue for nine years until FY2021, is being advanced through discussions on measurement of human sensitivity / modelization / social implementation by researchers from different fields having ideas in science and engineering / medical / liberal arts. Such a research style which fuses arts and sciences, as well as different fields, is the biggest feature of this research center.

 At our research center, we measure human sensitivity response to some input through various means such as questionnaires, interviews, brain function measuring devices including fMRI · NIRS, various sensors such as cameras, human behavior measurements, and other means. The mechanism is mathematically modeled and expressed, applied to actual problems in industry and society, and we are conducting activities aimed at social implementation.

 Research which fuses liberal arts and science / different fields, as well as practical research and social implementation does not only conform with the basic principles of Yokohama National University, but also that of our research center, which comprehensively handles human sensitivity and is quite unique among universities throughout the country. We will develop and expand the activities of our center, and we will establish the “Sensitivity Brain Information Science Research Center,” in the future. We hope that it functions as a center for this university's unique research activities that combine liberal arts and science which will encompass neuroscience and sensitivity to social implementation.