Principal investigators

Kaoru Amano

Visual Neuroscience

Main Lab Location:

The University of Tokyo

Phone: 

+81-3-5841-0446

Mailing Address:

7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8656

Email: 

kaoruamano at nict.go.jp

Homepage:

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.

Selected Publications:

Masuda Y., Takemura, H., Terao, M., Miyazaki, A., Ogawa, S., Horiguchi, H., Nakadomari, S., Matsumoto, K., Nakano, T., Wandell, B., Amano, K. (2021): V1 projection zone signals in human macular degeneration depend on task despite absence of visual stimulus, Current Biology 31(1), 1-7.

Oishi, H., Takemura, H., Aoki, C, S., Fujita, I., Amano, K. (2018): Microstructural properties of the vertical occipital fasciculus explain the variability in human stereoacuity, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115 (48) 12289–12294.

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– 866.

Lab Members:

Researcher
Masamichi Hayashi(Deputy PI)

Student
・Shuka Shibusawa
・Ikko Kimura
・Masakazu Sugimoto
・Kohhei Hosoya