Students from Meizen Prefectural High School in Fukuoka visited the KRC to attend lectures by Professor Hiroshi Yoshioka and Professor Nobuhito Abe
Students from Meizen Prefectural High School (Kurume City, Fukuoka) visited the KRC on August 2nd, 2019. They attended lectures by Professor Hiroshi Yoshioka and Professor Nobuhito Abe and toured KRC’s MRI Research facilities.
Meizen High School was designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as a Super Science High School (SSH) and its students visited Kansai area as a part of the SSH programs. This was their seventh visit to KRC.
Prof. Yoshioka provided a brief introduction of the characteristics of KRC and the activities of its researchers by discussing why its name includes the word “kokoro”.
He then gave a lecture introducing his area of research, aesthetics. He spoke on the topic of “dismantling the time machine”, which is related to the philosophical discussion of “time.”
In philosophy and art, there is a distinction between subjective time, which is experienced internally, and objective time, which is measured by a clock. In the lecture, Prof. Yoshioka talked about topics such as Augustine’s theory of time, the spatialization and standardization of time that developed with modern science, the invention of the concept of the time machine, and time in Russian literature.
In the Q&A Session at the end, a student asked the insightful question, “How do you research kokoro? If one tries to talk about invisible things like kokoro, the narrative becomes subjective.” Prof. Yoshioka answered straightforwardly, replying, “There are two ways to research it: one is by using the scientific method of studying the invisible mind by converting it into visible data; the other is the method of humanities that trains one’s own ‘subjectivity’ to bracket out personal and historical bias so that one’s personal ‘subjectivity’ is raised into a universal ‘subjectivity’.” He spoke about philosophical topics without modifying them for high school students, but they listened closely to his lecture.
More details about the lecture can be found on Prof. Yoshioka’s personal blog.
Please take a look at it (Japanese only).
After Prof. Yoshioka’s lecture, the students moved to the Collaborative MRI Research Facilities in KRC’s South Bldg., where Prof. Abe gave a lecture about researching brain functions using MRI machines, one of the major tools in current brain research. He introduced the principle of indirectly imaging the activity of the human brain using MRI and demonstrated brain function imaging experiments. The students were fascinated by the actual brain images taken during the lecture. A Q&A Session was held after the lecture and Prof. Abe told them not to draw strict distinctions between the liberal arts and science.