13:30 ―
Gate Opening
14:00 ―
Opening Talk
14:05 ― 14:25
Ryoichiro Kageyama

Ryoichiro KageyamaNeural Stem Cell Research

Talk 1
Rejuvenate aging brains—Revitalization and memory recovery of neural stem cells

Neural stem cells have the ability to differentiate into various types of cells. The human brain is formed from neural stem cells in embryonic development. Neural stem cells actually exist in specific parts of the adult brain, creating new neurons and playing an important role in learning, memory, and cognitive functions. However, the ability to create new neurons declines with age along with a decrease in brain functions. By controlling the specific genes that hold the keys to revitalization and suppression of stem cells, our research has shown that we can rejuvenate the stem cells and create new neurons, recovering brain functions. Let’s take a look at the possibilities of neural stem cells and the human brain.

14:30 ― 14:50
Taro Toyoizumi

Taro ToyoizumiNeural Computation and Adaptation

Talk 2
A future where human intelligence is combined with computers
—Does it rely on fluctuations in the brain?

The human brain calculates in a different way from computers. A computer will give you the same answer unless you change the input, but the brain can provide you with a different answer day by day. An answer provided tomorrow will be different, and inspirations and new ideas will be added. While the computer’s memory does not change, synapses, which play an important role in memorization in the brain, always fluctuate even when it is not learning. In this talk, I will talk about how the brain learns, focusing on the nature of the synapses’ fluctuations.

14:50 ― 15:05
15:05 ― 15:25
Hakwan Lau

Hakwan LauLab for Consciousness

Talk 3
Unconscious Imaginations

The brain shows spontaneous activity, even when we are not actively thinking of anything. These unconscious activities are not meaningless noise. By manipulating them, we can make you less aroused by some threatening objects, e.g. a spider. With these experiments, we are beginning to understand why some people do not experience vivid mental imagery, and yet can function totally fine in everyday life.

15:30 ― 15:50
Akiko Hayashi-Takagi

Akiko Hayashi-TakagiMulti-scale Biological Psychiatry

Talk 4
When democracy for neurons collapses

The action patterns of neurons are the essence of the brain’s information processing. Neurons receive electrical signals from an immense number of synapses (said to be 10,000) and decide whether or not to act based on the sum total of those signals. That is to say, the activity of neurons is decided by a democracy of synapses. Our lab discovered a phenomenon in which this democracy of synapses breaks down. In this talk, I will discuss what happens in the brain in such times.

15:50 ― 16:05
16:05 ― 16:40

Panel Discussion

Kaoru Takeuchi

Kaoru Takeuchi(MC)
Science writer