Special Session 1

Constructive Developmental Science: Two Endeavors toward Understanding Human Development

Yukie Nagai (Osaka University), Yasuo Kuniyoshi (University of Tokyo), Minoru Asada (Osaka University)


Interdisciplinary approach has a great potential to reveal the principle of human development. Analytical studies of neural activities and cognitive behaviors can generate new hypotheses about biological systems whereas constructive approach such as robotics verifies the hypotheses, which in turn leads to new direction of analytical research. We recently launched two interdisciplinary projects to address the following issues: How does human mind develop? How do experiences from the fetal period affect the development of social cognition? How is the microscopic neural activity reflected in the macroscopic human behaviors? This 3-hours special session aims to provide the overview of the projects and to discuss the potential of the new research area called “Constructive Developmental Science.”

The first project is named “Constructive Developmental Science: Revealing the Principles of Development from Fetal Period and Systematic Understanding of Developmental Disorders” (see Figure 1) [1]. The central hypothesis of this project is that people with autistic spectrum disorders may have the difficulty to integrate sensorimotor information rather than in social interaction. In addition, we suggest that experiences from the fetal period affect the later stage of social development. This project aims at understanding the origin of social development and its disorders by collaborating between robotics, human science, and Tojisha-Kenkyu.

The second project is called “Constructive Developmental Science Based on Understanding the Process from Neuro-Dynamics to Social Interaction” (see Figure 2) [2]. In contrast to the first project, it focuses more on different scales of interaction dynamics such as from the microscopic neural level to the macroscopic behavioral label. The goal of the project is to reveal the mechanism of self-recognition as well as the emergence of social interaction. We investigate the neural and behavioral dynamics of mother-infant interaction from both analytical and modeling approaches.

Figure 1: Overview of the first project [1] Figure 2: Overview of the second project [2]

[1] http://devsci.isi.imi.i.u-tokyo.ac.jp/?lang=en
[2] http://www.er.ams.eng.osaka-u.ac.jp/asadalab/tokusui/index_en.html

Talk 1: Theorizing the phenomenological observation by autistic people: Introduction to the new method called Tojisha-Kenkyu

Shinichiro Kumagaya (Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, The University of Tokyo, Japan)

Talk 2: Development of social cognition from perinatal period: Towards a new systematic understanding of its dysfunctions

Masako Myowa-Yamakoshi (Graduate School of Education, Kyoto University, Japan)

Talk 3: Casting light to the biological rhythm during the transitional period

Osuke Iwata, Yushiro Yamashita, and Toyojiro Matsuishi (Centre for Developmental & Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Paediatrics, Kurume University School of Medicine, Japan)

Talk 4: An approach with new neuroimaging methods for young children

Mitsuru Kikuchi (Research Center for Child Mental Development, Kanazawa University, Japan), Hirata Masayuki (Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Japan), Minoru Asada (Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Japan), Yoshio Minabe (Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Medical, Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences, Kanazawa University, Japan)

Talk 5: Constructive Developmental Science: a new interdisciplinary approach to understanding human development and designing humanoid competence

Minoru Asada (Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Japan)


Prof. Giulio Sandini (Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Italian Institute of Technology, Italy)

Important dates:

Extended Deadlines:

   Submission Deadline: March 31, 2013

   Notification Due: May 16, 2013

   Final Version Due: June 23, 2013

Early Registration: July 26, 2013

Conference: August 18-22, 2013