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Imagination & Executive Functions Lab

 Kentaro Miyamoto Lab. at RIKEN CBS 



Kentaro Miyamoto
​ Team leader

Kentaro studied the neural mechanism of retrieval and encoding of recognition memory in primates in my PhD course at The University of Tokyo School of Medicine (awarded in 2014; advisor: Prof. Yasushi Miyashita). Then he was interested in the brain functions of self-monitoring of past memory (meta-memory) and prediction/self-evaluation of future actions (prospective metacognition). From 2017, he studied prospective decision making in primates at University of Oxford as a post-doc (Matthew Rushworth lab). JSPS Fellow from 2011 to 2019 (DC1, PD, Abroad). Current position from July 2021. Visiting associate professor at The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Arts and Sciences from April 2023 (Please contact me if you are interested in MSc/PhD course in our lab).

​MingMing Lin
​ Researcher

EDUCATION: Ph.D., Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo


Research Fellow, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry

Research Associate, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo,  etc.

RESEARCH TOPPICS: Effects of acute stress on memory, Individual differences of personality, Mental health, Reliability of online research methods, etc. 


Marina Saito


Marina received her Ph.D. at the university of Tokyo. JSPS fellow (DC1) from 2019 to 2021 specializing in the effect of the blind spot stimulation on the perception of the normal visual field. She left this lab to Nagoya city University (Tsujimira lab) as JSPS fellow PD in April 2022.

​Shiho Tanaka

Visiting Researcher

Shiho got a Ph.D. (Psychology) at Sophia University. She had been involved with neural psychology for ADHD and Depression as Clinical Psychologist/Certified Public Psychologist in 2019-2021. Engaged in clinical training at Mitsui Memorial Hospital. To clarify the collaboration mechanisms among individuals with diverse subjective from neural science perspective, she became the member of this lab as Research Part-timer1 since October 2021, as Junior Research Associate since 2022. Joined Takamitsu Watanabe Lab, IRCN, University of Tokyo as Project Researcher since 2024.


Mika Baba


Graduated from the Department of Biotechnology, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. Received PhD, at Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University in 2015. After working on the neurons involved in binocular vision in the early visual cortex, I have been engaged in research on the brain mechanisms of ‘Shitsukan’, or perception of material property, at National Institute for Physiological Sciences and Brain Science Institute, Tamagawa University.

Tomoko Yamagata
​ Visiting Researcher

Tomoko received a PhD in Engineering from Tamagawa University, Japan for her research in the neural mechanism of visuomotor transformation in prefrontal cortex and premotor cortex in macaque monkeys with Dr Jun Tanji and Dr Eiji Hoshi (2010). In 2015, she started studying sleep neurobiology in Vladyslav Vyazovskiy lab, DPAG, University Oxford. As a postdoc in Sleep Circadian Institutes in NDCN, she studied the role of cortex in sleep homeostasis (Lukas and Yamagata et al, Nat Neurosci, 2021) and the integrative role of the preoptic hypothalamus in sleep/wake regulation and sleep homeostasis in mice (Yamagata et al, PNAS, 2021). She moved back to Japan in 2021 and started sleep/anesthesia study in mice and monkey. 


​Akane Nagano
​ Special Postdoctoral Researcher

Akane obtained a PhD in 2018 (Doctor of Psychogy, Doshisha University). She was a JSPS Research Fellow (DC2) (2017-2018). For her work in graduate school, she researched self-control and physical causal understanding in rats from the perspectives of physical psychology, behavioral analysis and comparative cognition. In 2018-2021 (assistant professor in Faculty of Psychology, Doshisha University), she researched the evolutionary and developmental processes of manipulation of mental representantion and spatial cognition in squirrel monkeys and degus (joint research with Kyoto University). She transferred to this lab as a JSPS Research Fellow (PD) in 2021. Currently, she aims to shed light on the neural mechanisms of higher cognition in macaque monkeys as a Special Postdoctoral Researcher.

Junko Kuwata


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​Taku Hasegawa

After completing a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience at University of California at Los Angeles, Taku entered into Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, where he obtained a PhD in life science through the development of molecular and electrophysiological tools: reversible blockade of neural transmission using tetanus neurotoxin, and a wireless device for single-unit recordings. As a postdoctoral fellow, he studied the neural mechanisms for motor control in the basal ganglia at National Institute of Physiological Sciences (Nambu lab; 2015-2021), where chemogenetics was applied to Macaque monkeys.

Tomomi Watanabe

Technical Staff 1

It's been a few years away from the monkey site for Tomomi and she thinks it needs some rehabilitation, but she hopes it helps everyone. “On the bridge between monkeys and people, and I will do my best to be another hand for everyone if someone ask for it! Thank you.”


Sara Matsui​


Sara has graduated from Smith College double majoring in Neuroscience and Computer Science. Her honors thesis focuses on the machine learning analysis of rodent ultrasonic vocalizations, studying the effects of the inhibition of prefrontal cortex in the context of social interaction. She has been working in the lab since 2023 Summer. Starting in the spring of 2024, she joined a consulting firm.

​Han Zhang

Junior Research Associate

Han is a PhD student at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on elucidating the mechanisms of creative thinking associated with dreaming sleep.

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​Daisuke Kato

​Visiting Resercher

Daisuke studied the neural mechanism of the binocular vision processing in the early visual cortex of cats, and received a Ph.D. in Science from Osaka University, Japan (2016; advisor Prof. Izumi Ohzawa). After completing his Ph.D., he left the field of research and planned to spend the rest of his life as a software engineer, but in May '22, he joined the RIKEN CBS Thinking and Execution Function Research Team. He is in charge of setting up the electrophysiology experiment system.

​Ayano Koyanagi

​MSc student

1st year, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo. In her undergraduate studies, she conducted theoretical research on Erving Goffman's "Stigma.'' In her master's program, she plan to research the social behavior of macaque monkeys. Thank you.


Zonghao Xi​​n

​JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research in Japan

Xin received his PhD degree from the University of Tokyo, under the School of Engineering, Department of Bioengineering, with the instruction by Prof. Masaki Sekino. Xin has been working on evaluating nerual responses against brain brain stimulation methods such as TMS, as well as developing novel brain stimulation techniques. During this process, Xin was gradually getting interest in general neuronscience and cognition, therefore he decided to transfer his research field to cognitive neuroscience during his postdoctoral career.

Haoran Zuo

​Research Part-timer 1

Haoran obtained his master's degree from the University of Warwick in the UK. His graduation research focused on developing a new Bayesian updating model to explain and predict decision-making and information processing behaviors when people face information related to their ego. Currently, he is pursuing my doctoral studies at Waseda University, where he continues to explore how different methods of processing new information affect decision-making. His work involves combining information theory and utility functions to develop more explanatory mathematical models.


Kosuke Yoshida

Undergraduate student / Trainee

Kosuke is a 4th-year student in the Uni of Tokyo. He studies cognitive science: comparative cognitive science including humans and neural science. His research topic is metacognition and mind reading, which he think led human beings to the most dominant species on earth. His basic approach includes wet analyses (behavioral experiments or observations) as well as theoretical analyses (mathematical modeling and computer simulations).

Kei Hagiya

Technical Staff I

Kei has been away from Macaque for a little while, so she guess she needs to change her mind, but she will try her best to help you all as soon as possible. She hopes to create an environment that allows us to conduct experiments successfully while improving the quality of life of the animals.

Research Topics

​Research Topics

Our team is studying the neural circuits to generate ‘self-awareness’ and ‘imagination of others.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

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2-1 Hirosawa, Wako City, Saitama Prefecture, 

RIKEN CBS East Buildings 204

Imagination & Executive Functions Lab


  Tel: 050-3495-01490 (main)

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