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Center for Evolutionary Cognitive Sciences

The Center for Evolutionary Cognitive Sciences (ECS) promotes interdisciplinary studies and education for answering the fundamental question: what human beings are by integrating cognitive sciences, linguistics, and brain sciences in the light of evolutionary perspectives. Our current researches are led by multidisciplinary cooperation among psychologists, neuroscientists, and linguists, including studies on cognitive developments in the infancy of typical and autistic children, cognitive mechanisms for linguistic processes, comparative neurobiology for vocal productions in humans and other animals, and more.

The Center was established in 2008 to follow and build on the success of the multidisciplinary 21st Century COE Program ("The Mind and Language - Developments in Cognitive Evolutionary Sciences", active in 2003-2007). The Center is placed within the Graduate School of Arts and Science and currently run by a committee consisting of staff from both the Department of Language and Information Sciences and the Department of Multi-Disciplinary Sciences. We function as one of the research hubs that integrate the humanities, social sciences, and the natural sciences.

We are running shared research facilities for neuropsychological experiments: eye-tracking system, brainwave recording, and dedicated safe room for baby experiments. In particular, we installed the functional MRI (fMRI) system in 2014 and are offering the opportunity to researchers for brain imaging studies.

The Center's activities include regular collaborative inter-laboratory research, as well as offering the interdisciplinary graduate courses in 'Special Lectures in Language and Information Sciences I: The Mind and Language - Developments in Cognitive Evolutionary Sciences' and 'Cognitive Evolutionary Sciences' every year. Further, we also play a role in providing an evolutionary basis for advanced research in brain science in collaboration with the world-known research institute, RIKEN.

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