Hiroshi Sato, Ph.D. Director
Hiroshi Sato, Ph.D.

As the only research institute in the Department of Information Technology and Human Factors, the Human Informatics and Interaction Research Institute stands as fundamental knowledge and data source of humans and their activities. The reason why is the word Interaction is now added to the previous Human Information Research Institute is that a human cannot live only itself. Human always reacts to the dynamic change of environments such as physical conditions, other humans, information, etc.. Technologies developed for human and their developing processes also interact with humans and technologies themselves during processes of development. In order to capture dynamic changes of interaction entities, we also need to know deeply about these entities.

As you know, humans and their activities can be presented in a cycle in which humans receive information from the outside world, transmit information to the brain, the brain makes decisions, the body moves, and the results are fed back to the brain through sensation. We need to know the behind of the cycle because many elements in the cycle interact between them, this cycle is not simple as it presented. We are trying to understand the effects of these interactions and to connect them to interaction-designs in the field of services, environments, and media.

We are trying to get knowledge and skills to improve the interaction between entities in a society with consideration to all the people including the elderly and people with difficulties and disabilities. We are ready to contribute building Society 5.0, where entities are going to be connected, cooperating, and interacting.


Technology for Human Life and Neuroscience

This figure consists of the following four pictures. The first picture shows the human sleep experiment in the climatic chamber. The second picture shows that neuroscience, measurement and evaluation, and intervention technology circulate in the neurorehabilitation research. The third picture shows a screen of the database of sensory characteristics of older persons and persons with disabilities. The fourth picture shows the multimodal measuring by MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of 3 tesla magnetic field.

In order to provide safe, secure, healthy and comfortable living in a sustainable society, it is important to understand the interactive relationships between people and the adequate products or/and the living environment. We have been developing technologies that comply with various human functions, neurophysiological systems, and biomedical properties, by integrating relevant knowledge with data acquisition and analysis.

We focus on the following areas: (1) measurement and assessment of cognitive function, (2) psycho-physiological adaptability to environmental change, (3) recovery or substitution of lost abilities, and (4) technology to facilitate independence for the elderly and disabled. We also contribute to support Japanese Industrial Standards / International Standards, and to build the guidelines for designing industrial products and assistive medical devices.

New projects are forthcoming, including neuro-rehabilitation technology based on neurological mechanisms, communication technology via direct connection between brain and machine (brain-machine interface), and fundamental technology to connect medical devices to clinical information networks (IoT, Internet of Things).