Nagoya Research Center for Brain & Neural Circuits

Research Projects

Research Projects

The brain is a marvelous energy- and space-saving system that enables flexible processing and storage of an enormous amount of information in accordance with various situations. Over a long period of time during evolution, animals have acquired the mechanism and the algorithm by which to achieve such flexible and yet quite elaborate information processing as seen in “adaptability”, “imagination”, “inspiration” and “intuition”. The objective of our research unit is to define novel neural elements that implement this flexibility of the brain, and subsequently to develop biology-based theories of information processing. This mission unit will be pursued by the following international group of researchers: four experimental neurobiologists at Nagoya University studying neural circuits with small brain animals (Ikue Mori, the unit leader, studying neural circuits involved in learning, memory and decision making in C. elegans; Azusa Kamikouchi, studying auditory neural circuits in Drosophila; Hiroko Bannai and Tsunehiko Kohashi, studying neural circuits in fish); a young theoretical biologist, Rex Kerr, who has established innovative methods of data analysis and theoretical modeling; and the world’s leading researchers selected from among international applicants. With this team of talents, we aim to re-define “local domains” as information processing elements, analyze how each element computes information that flows within itself, and consequently clarify the basic principles of information processing in the context of hierarchical and complex network. The impacts of this research are expected to extend beyond the field of neuroscience, toward the broad fields of artificial intelligence, economics and more. After the completion of this research unit, we will continue, as a truly interdisciplinary, permanent international hub of brain research, to promote unique leading edge researches in the fields of psychology, art, linguistics, robotics and to artificial brain computers, overcoming the existing paradigm confined to respective disciplines.

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