There has been a rapid progress in the study of social brain functions. This field of research, called social neuroscience, aims to clarify the neural basis of social functioning. In social neuroscience, studies on human subjects are surely indispensable as they can tell us about our social mind most directly. Yet research using other animal species, in particular nonhuman primates, is also crucial for understanding social brain functions at the cellular and network levels. We have developed novel, experimental paradigms using macaque monkeys together with multi-site neuron recording techniques toward the physiological understanding of social cognitive functions.
We also focus on the neural mechanism underlying blindsight, i.e., a phenomenon known as “vision without awareness.” Using monkeys with lesions in the primary visual cortex, we have carried out psychophysics, electrophysiological recording, and functional brain imaging to better understand blindsight.
We record neural activity simultaneously from multiple brain regions to understand social brain functions at the network level.
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