2. Manipulating activation patterns of the human brain

Manipulating activation patterns of the human brain

  • Graduate School of Informatics
  • Department of Cognitive and Psychological Sciences

Kazuhisa Shibata [Associate Professor]


Outline of Seeds

This method, termed decoded neurofeedback, consists of two cutting-edge technologies; real-time human neuroimaging and brain decoding based on machine learning algorithms. In particular, this method allows experimenters or even subjects themselves to monitor a current status of subjects brain activity.

Novelty and originality of this research

Our research projects using decoded neurofeedback have developed new and powerful experimental approaches in psychology and neuroscience. In experiments with decoded neurofeedback, subjects can control an activation pattern of a particular region of their brain so that the pattern becomes similar to a specific pattern. This experimental approach has made it possible to incept a new visual skills to subjects without actual training, ameliorate fear memories, and manipulate subjects preferences to human faces.

Application and research area for Industry collaboration

Decoded neurofeedback can be applied to development of a new and effective treatment for psychiatric disorders. For instance, it would be possible to train patients brain activity pattern and made the pattern similar to the brain activity pattern of healthy people.


Neurofeedback, Decoding, fMRI


  • International patent 20140171757

Monographs, Papers and Articles

  • Perceptual learning incepted by decoded fMRI neurofeedback without stimulus presentation, K Shibata, T Watanabe, Y Sasaki and M Kawato, Science, 2011, 334:1413-1415.
  • Learning to associate orientation with color in early visual areas by associative decoded fMRI neurofeedback, K Amano, K Shibata, M Kawato, Y Sasaki, T Watanabe, Current Biology, 2016, 26(14):1861-1866.
  • Differential activation patterns in the same brain region led to opposite emotional states, K Shibata, T Watanabe, M Kawato, Y Sasaki, PLoS Biology, 2016, 14(9):e1002546.
  • Fear reduction without fear: direct reinforcement of neural activity bypasses the need for conscious exposure, A Koizumi, K Shibata et al.(著者8名中4番目), Nature Human Behavior, 2016.