There is increasing attention to social neuroscience, a discipline dedicated to clarifying the neural basis of social cognitive functions. In social neuroscience, studies on human subjects are surely indispensable, as they can tell us about our social mind most directly. Yet research using nonhuman primates is also crucial for understanding social brain functions at the cellular and network levels. Nonhuman primates are phylogenetically close to humans, they have brain structure similar to humans, and they offer unique opportunities to directly record or manipulate neural activity. Our laboratory develops novel, behavioral tasks using two monkeys facing each other and carries out electrophysiological recordings of single-neuron activities and local field potentials across networks of brain regions.
Our laboratory also focuses on the neural mechanism of attention. Using monkeys with lesions in the right hemisphere, we carry out behavioral experiments and functional brain imaging to understand unilateral spatial neglect, which is characterized as failures to pay attention to the contralateral side to the lesion. We also measure eye movements of marmoset monkeys to understand the mechanisms of visual salience.
Multi-site, multi-electrode neural recordings for clarifying the neural basis of social cognitive functions
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