Multimodal cognitive system

[ Professor ] *Nobuyuki Sakai
Multimodal Cognitive System Group

[ Assistant Professor* ] Kosuke Yamamoto

Research Activities

The purpose of the Multimodal Cognitive System group is to develop the achievement of RIEC in the research about human information systems, and to improve roles of RIEC in the research fields of electrical communication. This group aims to study the basic mechanisms underlying multimodal cognitive systems, including vision, audition, tactile sensation, gustation and olfaction, together with the related groups such as the Advanced Acoustic Information Systems and the Visual Cognition and Systems groups. This group also collaborates with the Yotta Informatics Center to study the quality, property, and value of the multimodal cognitive information. The group welcomes researchers and engineers in industrial societies, not only professors in academic societies. Also the achievements of this group will not only be published in the academic societies, such as psychology, neuroscience, sensory studies etc., but be applied to develop new products.

Multimodal Cognitive System Group(Prof. Sakai)

Research topics

  • Research for understanding about the system underlying multimodal sensory integration and cognition
  • Applying the psychological and neuroscientific knowledge about multimodal sensory and cognitive system to industries

This group aims to understand the psychological and the neuroscientific systems underlying the multimodal sensory integration and cognition. This group also has an important role in applying these academic knowledges into the industrial fields.
There have not been so many knowledges about the multimodal sensory integration and cognition, especially gustation, olfaction and other chemical sense those are research target of this group, but the industrial fields have been applying these phenomena. For example, companies sell mineral water added flavor as non-calorie beverages, which are application of the phenomena named learned synesthesia of taste and odor. Also some companies have started developing the foods and beverages with high palatability and low sodium/sugar for elderly persons and patients, which are application of the phenomena named odor-induced taste enhancement. This group had reported the underlying brain mechanisms with cognitive factors in these phenomena, and suggested to apply these knowledges into real products. This group continues to develop academic researches underlying the phenomena in our daily lives and those application forms collaborating with industrial companies.
In parallel with these researches, this group has started studying the human attention and anticipation systems in multimodal cognition in collaboration with Visual Cognition and Systems group and with Advanced Acoustic Information Systems group. Also this group studies the psychological, biological and neuroscientific mechanisms underlying the human attention and anticipation systems in multimodal cognition collaborating with School of Arts and Letters, School of Information Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Medical School and Dental School in Tohoku University.

Fig.1 Olfactory experiment apparatus (in Soundproof Shielded Room, 1st level of Main Building)
Fig.2 Physiological measurements with whole brain NIRS.