Principal investigators

Kaoru Amano

Visual Neuroscience

Main Lab Location:

CiNet (Main bldg.)

Other Affiliations:

Guest Associate Professor, Osaka University





Mailing Address:

1-4 Yamadaoka, Suita City Osaka, 565-0871



I study the neural causes of consciousness in humans, combining psychophysics, non-invasive brain imaging and manipulative techniques.

My lab is developing and applying new techniques such as neurofeedback and electric current stimulation, to understand the neural causes of visual awareness. Based on our previous research, we think that critical components for visual awareness could include not just activity in early visual areas, but also recurrent networks possibly working at alpha/beta frequencies and/or activity in frontal brain regions. Our approach to test these ideas is based on manipulative/interventional techniques such as decoded neurofeedback (using either fMRI or MEG) and transcranial alternating current stimulations (tACS). For example, we have recently found promising results in creating orientation-specific color perception using fMRI decoded neurofeedback.

My lab also probes other aspects of visual awareness, including the neural mechanisms of feature integration across modalities – known as the binding problem. More recently, we’ve begun utilising high resolution (7T fMRI) imaging methods to look for new visual maps in the brain.

We’re also interested in applications development. For example, neurofeedback techniques may have clinical value in improving visual awareness in blindsight and visual neglect patients. In addition, we are exploring the possibility of developing new user-interfaces that enhance important but otherwise ‘sub-conscious’ visual information.

I accept PhD students via the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, Osaka University, and Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) post-doctoral fellows are also highly welcomed.

Selected Publications:

Minami, S., Amano, K. (2017): Illusory jitter perceived at the frequency of alpha oscillations, Current Biology 27 (15), 2344–2351.

Cortese, A., Amano, K., Koizumi, A., Kawato, M. & Lau, H. (2016) : Multivoxel neurofeedback selectively modulates confidence without changing perceptual performance, Nature Communications 7, Article number : 13669

Koizumi, A., Amano, K., Cortese, A., Shibata, K., Yoshida, W., Seymour, B.,Kawato, M. & Lau, H.(2016) : Fear reduction without fear through reinforcement of neural activity that bypasses conscious exposure, Nature Human Behaviour 1, Article number : 0006

Amano, K., Shibata, K., Kawato M., Sasaki, Y. & Watanabe, T. (2016) : Learning to Associate Orientation with Color in Early Visual Areas by Associative Decoded fMRI Neurofeedback, Current Biology 26 (14), 1861– 1866.

Takemura, H., Ashida, H., Amano, K., Kitaoka, A., Murakami, I. (2012) : Neural correlates of induced motion perception in the human brain, The Journal of Neuroscience 32(41), 14344-14354.

Amano, K., Wandell, B., Dumoulin, S. (2009) : Visual field maps, population receptive field sizes, and visual field coverage in the human MT+ complex, Journal of Neurophysiology 102, 2704-2718.

Lab Members:

Technical staff
・Kazuhiro Okahashi

・Ai Koizumi
・Hiromasa Takemura
・Kenichi Yuasa

・Sorato Minami
・Hiroki Ooishi
・Mizuki Fujita
・Lyu Jeonghyun