Our goal is to reveal mechanisms of higher brain functions such as visual object recognition and goal-directed behavior.

Keiji TanakaKeiji Tanaka

Keiji Tanaka, Ph.D.

Team Leader, Cognitive Brain Mapping
keiji [at] riken.jp

Research Overview

To reveal mechanisms of higher brain functions such as recognition and decision making, we are conducting experiments with non-human primates and functional MRI on normal human subjects. In the research with non-human primates, the animals are trained with various behavioral paradigms, and effects of functional blocage of particular brain sites or connections are examined and single-cell recordings are conducted during the task performance. We are focusing on the mechanisms of visual object recognition in the inferotemporal cortex and those of goal-directed behavior in the prefrontal cortex. To relate research results in human subjects with those in experimental animals, we are also making efforts to increase the spatial resolution of fMRI with human subjects.


Selected Publications

  1. Cheng, K., Waggoner, R. A., Tanaka, K.:
    "Human ocular dominance columns as revealed by high-field functional magnetic resonance imaging."
    Neuron, 32, 359-374 (2001).
  2. Matsumoto, K., Suzuki, W., Tanaka, K.:
    "Neuronal correlates of goal-based motor selection in the prefrontal cortex."
    Science, 301, 229-232 (2003).
  3. Gardner, J.L., Sun, P., Waggoner, R.A., Ueno, K., Tanaka, K., Cheng, K.:
    "Contrast adaptation and representation in human early visual cortex."
    Neuron, 47, 1-14 (2005).
  4. Wang, G., Obama, S., Yamashita, W., Sugihara, T., Tanaka, K.:
    "View-invariant object recognition without experience of object rotations."
    Nature Neuroscience, 8, 1568-1575 (2005).
  5. Matsumoto, M. Matsumoto, K, Abe, H., Tanaka, K.:
    "Medial Prefrontal Cell Activity Signaling Prediction Errors of Action Values."
    Nature Neuroscience, 10, 647-656 (2007)
  6. Mansouri, F.A., Buckley, M.J., Tanaka, K.:
    "Mnemonic function of lateral prefrontal cortex in conflict-induced behavioral adjustment."
    Science 318: 987-990 (2007)
  7. Buckley, M.J., Mansouri, F.A., Hoda, H., Mahboubi, M., Browning, P.G.F., Kwok, S.C., Phillips, A., Tanaka, K.:
    "Dissociable Components of Rule-Guided Behavior Depend on Distinct Medial and Prefrontal Regions."
    Science 325: 52-58 (2009)
  8. Wan, X., Nakatani, H., Ueno, K., Asamizuya, T., Cheng, K., Tanaka, K.:
    "The neural basis of intuitive best next-move generation in board game experts."
    Science 331: 341-346 (2011)
  9. Wan, X., Cheng, K., Tanaka, K.:
    "Neural Encoding of Opposing Strategy Values in Anterior and Posterior Cingulate Cortex."
    Nature Neuroscience 18: 752-759 (2015)
  10. Mansouri, F. A., Buckley, M. J., Mahboubi, M., Tanaka, K.:
    "Behavioral consequences of selective damage to frontal pole and posterior cingulate cortices."
    Proceeding of National Academy of Science U. S. A. 112: E3940-E3949 (2015).

News & Media