SATO, Naoyuki

DepartmentDepartment of Complex and Intelligent Systems
Specialized FieldsBrain science, Computational Neuroscience, Brain imaging
Subjects in ChargeMathematics Practice 1,Mathematics Practice 2,Information Mathematics,Bioinformatics,Brain Science
Academic BackgroundDepartment of Electrical and Communication Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Tohoku University
DegreePh.D (Eng)
Personal HistoryIn 1999, I received my PhD in engineering at Tohoku University where I developed an original model of oscillatory networks for binocular vision. After my PhD, I joined the laboratory for dynamics of emergent intelligence in RIKEN Brain Science Institute. In that laboratory, as a "Creating the Brain" CREST (Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology) researcher, I developed computational models of the hippocampal network. As a senior researcher, I evaluated the models by using my own brain imaging experiments.
Starting Time of EmploymentApril 1, 2009

Research Contents

Brain can create reasonable behavior in real time in indefinite environment. Such brain function is implemented by autonomous cooperative process in distributed functional module. I am focusing on the synchronization dynamics of neuronal elements that integrate multiple processes in the distributed network. I developed a constructive approach combining computational modeling and brain imaging. Keywords of my interests are Vision, Spatial cognition, Memory, Episodic memory, Neural synchronization, Computational modeling, Theory-experiment combined analysis, Electroencephalogram, Eye movement, Action-perception cycle, Communication, Creativity etc.

Attractive Factors of My Research

Understanding the brain mechanism is essential for understanding humans; Brian forms our activities, such as perception, memory, action, language, communication, etc. There are huge research fields to be investigated. It is possible to choose/ construct the essential approach for uncovering the brain function.


Computational model of spatial imaginary (Kiban-S project, Principal investigator: Inui T (Kotyo Univ), 2009-2013).
EEG-fMRI simultaneous measurement (RIKEN BSI and Ogawa Lab. in Hamano Life Sci Res Found project,2005-2008)
Computational model of hippocampal network (CREST project by Yamaguchi Y (RIKEN BSI), 2001-2004)

Major Books and Papers

1. Sato, N (2014) Spatial consistency of neural firing regulates long-range local field potential synchronization: a computational study. Neural Networks, 62: 52-61.

2. Sato, N (2013) Fast entrainment of human electroencephalogram to a theta-band photic flicker during successful memory encoding. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 7:208. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00208

3. Sato, N (2010) Spatial imagery of novel places based on visual scene transformation. Cognitive Systems Research, 14(1): 26-36.

4. Sato, N, Yamaguchi, Y (2009) A computational predictor of the human episodic memory based on a theta phase precession network, PLoS ONE, 4(10):e7536.

5. Sato, N., Ozaki, TA, Someya, Y, Anami, K., Ogawa, S., Mizuhara, H., Yamaguchi, Y. (2009) Subsequent memory-dependent EEG theta correlates to parahippocampal BOLD response, NeuroReport, 21(3): 168-172.

Message to Students

Finding an essential questions are important in brain science. What is difference between computers and us? What is the essence of communication? What is the internal representation of the world? Why functions are distributed in brain? How the distributed brain functions is integrated into the mind? What is the functional role of neuromodulators in cognition? Is the neuronal synchronization functional? What neuronal mechanisms implement of perception, memory and action? Let’s find the right question and understand the principle of brain function.