Ryo Kitada studied cognitive neuroscience in Japan and Canada, completed his Ph.D in Human and Environmental Studies at Kyoto University in Japan. Then, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at Queen’s University in Canada. From 2008 to 2016, he worked as an assistant professor at National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS) Japan (tenured since 2014). He won the JPA Award for International Contributions to Psychology from the Japanese Psychological Association, an award given to distinguished young researchers in 2015. Since 2017, he is a Nanyang Associate Professor at NTU.
He uses psychophysics and neuroimaging techniques (1) to understand the mechanisms underlying multisensory perception and social cognition and (2) how innate and postnatal experience are interacted with each other to develop them. His findings include (a) vision-independent development of visual cortex in the brain, (b) distributed processing of object properties by touch, (c) cross-cultural similarity in the effect of social bonding on social touch, (d) physical characteristics that affect pleasantness of touch. He has been collaborating with researchers in the field of machine engineering, linguistics, cultural psychology, economics, rehabilitation therapists. He is keen on applying his research approaches to social sciences in terms of computational social science.
I use psychophysics and neuroimaging techniques to understand the mechanisms underlying perception and social cognition and how innate and postnatal experience are interacted with each other to develop them.
(1) Suvilehto JT, Nummenmaa L, Harada T, Dunbar RIM, Hari R, Turner R, Sadato N, Kitada R* (2019) Cross-cultural similarity in relationship-specific social touching Proceedings of the Royal Society B 286(1901):20190467. This paper is motivated by the hypothesis that, like allogrooming in monkeys, social touch is associated with social bonding. We demonstrated the common relationship between social bonding and touchable body areas between Eastern and Western cultures.
(2) Kitada R*, Yoshihara K, Sasaki AT, Hashiguchi M, Kochiyama T and Sadato N (2014) The brain network underlying the recognition of hand gestures in the blind: the supramodal role of the extrastriate body area. The Journal of Neuroscience, 34, pp. 10096-10108. This study revealed the vision-independent development of a visual area, which is critical for body perception.
(3) Okamoto Y, Kitada R, Tanabe HC, Hayashi MJ, Kochiyiama T, Munesue T, Ishitobi M, Saito DN, Yanaka HT, Omori M, Wada Y, Okazawa H, Sasaki AT, Morita T, Itakura S, Kosaka H and Sadato N*(2014) Attenuation of the contingency detection effect in the extrastriate body area in autism spectrum disorder. Neuroscience Research, 87, pp. 66-76. This study revealed that individuals with autism spectrum disorder show reduced activity for being imitated in a part of the visual cortex that is critical for body perception.
(1) A combination of fMRI-TMS on the brain network involved in supramodal body perception (collaboration with Prof. Satoshi Tanaka, Hamamatsu Medical University)
(2) The effect of compliance on pleasantness in typically developed individuals and autism spectrum disorder
(3) The cross-cultural similarity in sound symbolism
For my main research, I have been focusing on something that is investigated a little but is potentially important. You should not only do what you really want to do but also be open to other suggestions. They can be a new research field you want to work on.
|GOAL 1: NO POVERTY – Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.|
|GOAL 3: GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING – Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development.|
|GOAL 4: QUALITY EDUCATION – Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development.|