Scientific Research (S) “Cognitive Individuality”

Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S) “Understanding Cognitive Individuality Based on a Unified Brain Theory: Assisting People with Developmental Disorders”
(Principal Investigator: Yukie Nagai, Period: 2021.07-2026.03)

Proper understanding and assessment of individual diversities in cognitive abilities are crucial for establishing a neurodiverse society. However, what neural mechanisms produce such diversities remains an open question.
This project aims to elucidate the underlying neural mechanisms for individual diversities and to design better assistances for people with developmental disorders. We hypothesize that a unified brain theory called “predictive coding” provides a unified account for individualities. Modulations in the precision of prior and sensory signals, hierarchies, time scales, etc. in predictive processing are suggested to generate individual differences. We verify this hypothesis with a focus on the ability of self-recognition, which is a cornerstone of human cognition and thus enables us to extend our findings to social cognitive abilities. This project will lead to inclusive social systems that take advantage of the diverse characteristics of humans.


  • Yukie Nagai (Project Professor, International Research Center for Neurointelligence, The University of Tokyo)
  • Shinichiro Kumagaya (Associate Professor, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo)
  • Makoto Wada (Section Chief, Research Institute of National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities)


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