I am studying the psychology of great apes, particularly emotion and cognition. I am working with all species of great apes including bonobos, chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas, macaques, human infants, children, and adults (and recently with pigeons). My basic approach is to use cutting-edge technologies to study traditional questions in comparative psychology and animal behavior.
Using eye-tracking, we can examine their anticipatory looks to the impending events and an agent's action. This can reveal how they memorize the events and understand the other individual's goal-directed actions including the actions based on false beliefs.
Eye-tracking also can reveal unique social preferences in different species. For example, in a study, bonobos preferred to look at the eyes over the mouth while chimpanzees showed a opposite pattern,
Recently, we've developed a thermo-imaging technique that can visualize physiological signatures of emotion in chimpanzees.
Sunset at Kumamoto Sanctuary
2016-2017: Along with great ape research, at University of Oxford (with Dr. Dora Biro), I started working with pigeons about how they use their vision to coordinate their group flight while homing.
2014-: As an assistant professor of Kyoto University, I am working at Kumamoto Sanctuary. I am continuing to study cognition and emotion of bonobos and chimpanzees living in here.
2012-2014: As a post-doc, I continued eye-tracking studies by expanding study species to all great apes and human infants and children at Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany in collaboration with Dr. Josep Call.
2007-2011: In Inuyama, Aichi, Primate Research Institute, I worked with chimpanzees using computerized methods such as touch-panel tasks and eye-tracking and received my Master and PhD degree there, supervised by Dr. Masaki Tomonaga and Dr. Tetsuro Matsuzawa.
|Apart from work, I enjoy outdoor activities, mountain climbing and travelling and indoor activities, making models and watching movies.|