Atsushi Iriki

 >  HOME | Kokoro Research Center >  staff >  Atsushi Iriki

  |  Atsushi Iriki  |  Cognitive Neurobiology

I aim to uncover evolutionary precursors of human higher cognitive functions grounded onto physical morphologies and patterns of structured bodily actions, based on behavioral and neurophysiological analyses on chronic macaque monkeys, which were trained to use tools and other high-tech apparatus. By sharing these machineries among individuals, we extrapolate the mechanisms to constitute bases of communicatory functions, and eventually understand neural mechanism to form intellectual and alstristic society to comprise humanistic civilization environment. Further, we are aiming at elucidating neurobiological mechanisms, through the development of Marmoset experimental models, of evolutionary as well as developmental processes that give rise to symbolic cognitive functions subserving inference, metaphysical thoughts, etc. that characterize human intelligence.

Research Center Website:


1976-1982 Faculty of Dentistry, Tokyo Medical and Dental University.
1982-1986 Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University.
1986-1990 Research Associate, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Dentistry, Tokyo Medical and Dental University.
1988-1990 Research Associate, The Rockefeller University, New York, USA.
1991-1997 Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, Toho University School of Medicine.
1997-1999 Associate Professor, Department of Physiology, Toho University School of Medicine.
1999-2005 Professor and Chairman, Section of Cognitive Neurobiology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University.
2004-2018 Head of Laboratory for Symbolic Cognitive Development, RIKEN Brain Science Institute.
2018 Senior Team Leader, RIKEN Brain Science Institute.
2012-2018 Research Professor, Kyoto University.
2018-present Head of Laboratory for Symbolic Cognitive Development, RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research.
2019 Specifically Appointed Professsor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University

1. Iriki A, Toda K. (1980) Morphine and electroacupuncture: Comparison of the effects on the cortical evoked responses after tooth pulp stimulation in rats. Eur
2. Iriki A, Nozaki S, Nakamura Y. (1988) Feeding behavior in mammals: cortico-bulbar projection is reorganized during conversion from sucking to chewing. Dev Brain Res, 44, 189-196.
3. Iriki A, Pavlides C, Keller A, Asanuma H. (1989) Long-term potentiation in the motor cortex. Science, 245, 1385-1387.
4. Iwamura Y, Iriki A, Tanaka M. (1994) Bilateral hand representation in the postcentral somatosensory cortex. Nature, 369, 554-556.
5. Iriki A, Tanaka M, Iwamura Y. (1996) Coding of modified body schema during tool use by macaque postcentral neurons. Neuroreport, 7, 2325-2330.
6. Hihara S, Notoya T, Tanaka M, Ichinose S, Ojima H, Obayashi S, Fujii N, Iriki A. (2006) Extension of corticocortical afferents into the anterior bank of the intraparietal sulcus by tool-use training in adult monkeys. Neuropsychologia, 44, 2636-46.
7. Quallo MM, Price CJ, Ueno K, Asamizuya T, Cheng K, Lemon RN, Iriki A. (2009) Gray and white matter changes associated with tool-use learning in macaque monkeys. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 106, 18379-18384.
8. Yoshida K, Saito N, Iriki A, Isoda M. (2012) Social error monitoring in macaque frontal cortex. Nature Neurosci, 15, 1307-1312.
9. Iriki A, Taoka M. (2012) Triadic (ecological, neural, cognitive) niche construction: a scenario of human brain evolution extrapolating tool-use and language from control of the reaching actions. Phil Trans Royal Soc B, 367, 10-23.
10. Bruner E, Iriki A. (2016) Extending mind, visuospatial integration, and the evolution of the parietal lobes in the human genus, Quaternary International, 405, 98-110.