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Atsushi Iriki Cognitive Neuroscientist

Atsushi Iriki’s research focuses on uncovering evolutionary precursors of human higher cognitive functions that are grounded on physical morphologies and patterns of structured bodily actions. He studies the behavior and neurophysiology of macaque monkeys that are trained to use tools and other high-tech apparatus.  Iriki is also working to uncover neurobiological mechanisms of evolutionary and developmental  processes that give rise to symbolic cognitive functions using experimental Marmoset models.


• The Golden Brain Award, 2004.

• The Creative Research Award, 2008.

• The Otto-Creutzfeldt-Lecture, 2009.

• The Lee Wee Nam Lecture, 2013.

Relevant Publications

• A. Maravita, A. Iriki,"Tools for the body (schema)". Tr Cogn Sci, 8, pp 79-86, 2004

• MM Quallo, et al., "Gray and white matter changes associated with tool-use learning in macaque monkeys." Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 106, pp 18379-18384, 2009

• A. Iriki, M. Taoka, "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, pp 10-23, 2012.

• K. Yoshida, et al., "Social error monitoring in macaque frontal cortex. Nat Neurosci, 15, pp 1307-1312, 2012

• PF Ferrari, et al., "Mirror neurons through the lens of epigenetics." Tr Cogn Sci, 17, pp 450-457, 2013



Senior Fellow Azrieli Program in Brain, Mind & Consciousness


RIKEN Brain Science Institute,Laboratory for Symbolic Cognitive Development


DDS Tokyo Medical and Dental University

PhD Tokyo Medical and Dental University

DMSc Toho University



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