The key to understand the rise of mind should be found in communicative behavior

Kazuo Okanoya

Kazuo Okanoya, Ph.D.

Team Leader, Cognition and Behavior Joint Research Laboratory
kazuo.okanoya [at]

Research Overview

Our research hypothesis is “Communication shaped our mind”. To experimentally validate this hypothesis, we study animal and human communicative behavior by biopsychological approaches. Our experimental animals include rats, birds (Bengalese finches, Zebra finches, and Java sparrows), and humans. We set up behavioral paradigms that require cognitive or communicative faculties, and simultaneously measure brain activities such as single unit response, cellular gene expressions, electroencephalograms, and functional MRI. We aim to investigate correlational and causal relations between neural activities and behavior. We hope to understand how mind arouse based on these research activities.

Main Research Field

Related Research Fields


Selected Publications

  1. *Yuki, S., & Okanoya, K.:
    "Rats show adaptive choice in a metacognitive task with high uncertainty"
    Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 43(1), 109. (2017)
  2. *Tachibana, R. O., Takahasi, M., Hessler, N. A., & Okanoya, K.:
    "Maturation‐dependent control of vocal temporal plasticity in a songbird"
    Developmental Neurobiology. (2017)
  3. Fehér, O., Ljubičić, I., Suzuki, K., Okanoya, K., & Tchernichovski, O.:
    "Statistical learning in songbirds: from self-tutoring to song culture"
    Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 372(1711), 20160053. (2017)
  4. Nakatani, H., Ogawa, A., Suzuki, C., Asamizuya, T., Ueno, K., Cheng, K., & Okanoya, K.:
    "Perceived moral traits of others differentiate the neural activation that underlies inequity-aversion"
    Scientific Reports, 7. (2017)
  5. Nixima, K., Okanoya, K., Ichinohe, N., & Kurotani, T.:
    "Fast Voltage-Sensitive Dye Imaging of Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in the Rat Granular Retrosplenial Cortex"
    Journal of Neurophysiology, jn-00734. (2017)
  6. *Kagawa, H., Seki, Y., & Okanoya, K.:
    "Affective valence of neurons in the vicinity of the rat amygdala: Single unit activity in response to a conditioned behavior and vocal sound playback"
    Behavioural brain research, 324, 109-114. (2017)
  7. *Katahira, K., Yuki, S., & Okanoya, K.:
    "Model-based estimation of subjective values using choice tasks with probabilistic feedback"
    Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 79, 29-43. (2017)
  8. *Koumura, T., & Okanoya, K.:
    "Automatic Recognition of Element Classes and Boundaries in the Birdsong with Variable Sequences"
    PloS one, 11(7), e0159188. (2016)
  9. Fujii, T. G., Ikebuchi, M., & Okanoya, K.:
    "Auditory Responses to Vocal Sounds in the Songbird Nucleus Taeniae of the Amygdala and the Adjacent Arcopallium"
    Brain, behavior and evolution, 87(4), 275-289. (2016)
  10. Saito, Y., Yuki, S., Seki, Y., Kagawa, H., & Okanoya, K.:
    "Cognitive bias in rats evoked by ultrasonic vocalizations suggests emotional contagion"
    Behavioural processes, 132, 5-11. (2016)