Japan-U.S. Science and Technology Cooperation Program has been implemented since 1979 under the treaty concluded between the governments of two countries, of which "Brain Research" Division was commenced in the year 2000. National Institute for Physiological Sciences from Japanese side and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a sub-organ of NIH, from the U.S. support the cooperative projects of researchers of both countries as the responsible agency. The expenses necessary for the projects are borne respectively by each country, in principle, and most of the subsidies provided by Japan Society for the Promotion Science are used for travel expenses and living expenses of the researchers dispatched to the United States.
Japan has been formulating its own project based on the following three objectives: to focus on studies of non-human primate brains that will directly link to better understanding of the human brain; to elucidate the neural networks involved in such brain disorders as dementia and depression; and to promote close cooperation between basic and clinical research related to the brain. Dubbed Brain Mapping by Integrated Neurotechnologies for Disease Studies (Brain/MINDS), this new project was just launched in fiscal 2014 and will integrate new technologies and clinical research. In this program, challenging goals will be achieved through long-term researches carried out by linking core research institutions nationwide.
The purpose of this project is to clarify the mechanism that underlies the formation of gigantic GCs (glial assembly) and to understand how they control the brain function. We also aim to clarify how abnormalities in glial assembly are related to the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders.
In this project we will clarify: 1) How temperature-sensing mechanisms in the plasma membrane and in cells work together to allow precise temperature detection; 2) How temperature is sensed and integrated in temperature-dependent physiological responses that include regulation of body temperature, metabolism, circadian clock and animal behavior; and 3) What the mechanisms and physiological functions of spatiotemporal non-homogeneity of temperature distribution and detection are.
In this program, we will create a new academic field “neuro-oscillology”, which enable us to comprehend human nature. Oscillology is a pragmatic knowledge that approach “human brain” combining findings from state-of-the-art experimental research and ideas from a non-reductionism perspective that regard complex human being as inseparable unitary system. We share working hypotheses that the spontaneous oscillation and synchronization in neuronal system yield its functional differentiation and self-organization, as well as database derived from relevant experimental researches. We will create a new academic field “oscillology”, which synthesizes neuroscience, mathematics, and clinical medicine to achieve mathematical and neuro-systematic comprehension of human nature. （Japanese Only）
In the field of life science, imaging techniques are widely used on many scales, from molecules to cells to intact tissues and individuals. The demand for bioimaging has increased in recent years. However, due to advances in imaging technologies, i.e., the diversification and sophistication of special imaging equipment, advances in operations technology, increased costs of advanced imaging equipment, and advances in image analysis technologies, individual research institutes (including universities) have encountered increasing difficulties related to the introduction and operation of imaging equipment. Our supporting platform, ABiS (Advanced Bioimaging Support), has introduced cutting-edge apparatuses for light microscopy, electron microscopy, magnetic resonance, and other methods. ABiS was established by domestic partner organizations that owned and operated multiple types of advanced specialized imaging equipment, in order to provide comprehensive support for advanced imaging in the field of life science.
Our research aims to create a happy society that realizes the harmony of “things” and “emotions” by generating and growing new values of emotion, as well as material affluence. In order to reach our goal, we are studying the visualization of KANSEI (emotions, perception, etc.) and developing Brain-Emotion Interfaces (BEIs) that connect people to people, and people to things with KANSEI (emotions) by utilizing neuroscience, optical technology, and information and communication technology. Our research on emotional information will create new values in various fields of life such as food, clothing, and lifestyle, mobility, education, and medical care.
This program will make service models for brain information in the three sectors of health, education and information science publicly available. The construction of an innovation ecosystem through the creation of a brain information infrastructure will create the world’s first brain information industries and achieve energetic lifestyles.
Every summer, NIPS provides "NIPS Training Course" on physiological experimental techniques for young scientists - from molecular biology to system physiology. Please join us to learn traditional and advanced physiological techniques.
Database for Physiological Experimental Protocols discloses various information about experimental animal models, microscopic images, tools, softwares and other experimental techniques.