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Johan Lauwereyns Last modified date:2018.09.18

Professor / Graduate School of Systems Life Sciences
Division for Experimental Natural Science
Faculty of Arts and Science


Graduate School
Undergraduate School


E-Mail
Homepage
http://dubitopress.blogspot.jp/
Website of Dubito Lab (Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory) .
Academic Degree
Ph.D in Cognitive Psychology
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Yes
Field of Specialization
Cognitive Science, Bioethics
ORCID(Open Researcher and Contributor ID)
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0551-2550
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
13years00months
Outline Activities
“I think therefore I am” (cogito ergo sum). Everyone knows these words by Descartes. His method was based on reasoning and doubting. Doubt came first. We can rephrase it as “I doubt therefore I think therefore I am” (dubito ergo cogito ergo sum). We borrow this as a motto for our lab. Doubt comes first, as a scientific method and as subject for investigation. We wonder and inquire about perception and decision-making in complex or ambiguous situations. We study doubt with doubt. So there can be only one name for our lab: Dubito.

Decision-making? A core question for neuroscience:
One of the primary goals of cognitive neuroscience is to develop linking propositions between perception and action. Confronted with multiple sources of information, we have to choose one of several alternative courses of action. This process is called “decision-making.” To study the brain mechanisms for decision-making, we use a multidisciplinary approach, including neurophysiology, psychopharmacology, and behavioral analysis. In behavioral experiments we aim to characterize the cognitive processes of perceptual sensitivity and response bias. In neurophysiological and psychopharmacological experiments, we investigate how these cognitive processes are brought about in the brain.

Approach and objectives:
We develop a dynamical systems approach to analyzing neural data: Moving beyond the traditional static and rigidly deterministic perspectives in behavioral analysis and neurophysiology.
We look at improving the bioethical reasoning and praxis in neuroscience: Toward a scientifically and ethically motivated approach to reevaluating, revising and optimizing the use of animal models
We investigate the cognitive dimensions of behavior (and their analogues) in various animal models, from rats to worms and back to humans.
We integrate cross-disciplinary perspectives in Psychology, Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Arts and Letters. This implies replacing psychoanalysis with cognitive neuroscience as the privileged partner to investigate matters of consciousness and the mind.
Research
Research Interests
  • The role of visual attention in evaluative decision-making
    keyword : Decision-making, cognitive neuroscience, visual attention
    2016.04~2019.03.
  • Effects of Context and Framing on Choosing Food Products: Combining Behavioral and Psychophysiological Data to Predict Consumer Decisions
    keyword : Decision-Making; Food; Attention; Context
    2015.04~2018.03.
  • Perceptual integration and the creation of object files
    keyword : precursors of symbolic processing, rats, nose-poke paradigm, multi-unit and LFP recording
    2011.04.
  • Validity and value of information seeking
    keyword : information theory, rats, nose-poke paradigm, multi-unit and LFP recording
    2011.04.
  • Context, exploration, and the emergence of bias
    keyword : neuroeconomics, rats, nose-poke paradigm, multi-unit and LFP recording
    2011.04.
  • Deliverative decision-making
    keyword : chaotic itinerancy, rats, nose-poke paradigm, multi-unit and LFP recording
    2010.09.
Current and Past Project
  • Human decision-making is often influenced by the way in which choice options are presented. Though context and framing effects have long been studied in a variety of decision-making situations, the underlying principles have remained difficult to elucidate. This difficulty is naturally due to the inherent complexity of real-life situations, where various factors combine to produce variable patterns of results. The same context may affect the same person in a different way depending on accidental elements, such as whether a certain piece of information appears in the person’s field of view. Here we argue that, to make the decisions more tractable, it is essential to focus on the dynamics of the choice processes. Our working hypothesis is that the combination of behavioral tracking and psychophysiological measurement produces reliable estimates of the decision-maker’s internal state, particularly with respect to the level of attention and the emotional response toward different items. For instance, an increased amount of attention, combined with a positive affect, would predict a choice in favor of the product under consideration, whereas an increased amount of attention, combined with a negative affect, would predict a rejection. In this project we focus on food choices, and examine the effects of context and framing (e.g., varying the cultural cues, or the amount of additional information about price, caloric content, etc.). We hypothesize that the susceptibility to context and framing effects may show a dynamical pattern, depending on the subjects’ cognitive and cultural characteristics but also depending on their internal or motivational state (e.g., shortly after a meal). In our project, we aim to find out which people are susceptible to which kinds of context and framing effects. With such knowledge, it may be possible in future to design strategic campaigns to promote people’s health by protecting them against harmful contextual influences.
  • This project aims to investigate the spatial coding of self versus others in rat hippocampal circuits. Previous research has typically focused on the spatial mapping of the individual (“SELF”) relative to the world. However, if the cognitive map is truly a representation of the world, the neural mechanisms should work equally well in tracking the movements of others. We compare conditions in which the rat itself is moving in complex environments with conditions in which the rat observes another moving in the same environments. Essentially, we examine the equivalent of the mirror system for spatial mapping in rats, through multi-unit recording and recording of local field potentials, particularly in areas CA1 and CA3 of the hippocampus.
  • Deliberation entails the transient consideration of potential consequences of actions so as to determine the best choice. Rats, monkeys, and humans have all been found to deliberate over difficult decisions, particularly when faced with uncertain or newly-learned contingencies. Recently, we and other labs have found direct evidence for representations of potential future events in rats that behaviorally appear to be deliberating over decisions. However, the mechanisms by which deliberation aids in decision-making, the mechanisms by which choices are selected to be considered, and the relationship between deliberation and other categorizations of decision-making are all still unknown. From a psychological perspective, non-deliberative decisions can be described as ones that are made rapidly, and don't require elaborative cognitive processing. Deliberative decisions, in contrast, are slower, require more cognitive processing, and involve more uncertainty. From a neuroscience perspective, we can tackle this distinction explicitly: do deliberative and non-deliberative decisions depend on different brain circuits? If so, then these two types of decisions represent distinct classes of neural and cognitive events. If not, decision-making may be a single process that differs in the amount of processing involved within the same neural circuit.

    Deliberative decision making is an internally-generated process based on covert variables and thus its mechanisms cannot be studied through standard behavioral neuroscience techniques. This means that a scientific study of deliberative decision making will require a combination of techniques drawn from different disciplines. Our project is the first venture of this kind, combining large ensemble neural recording (Redish), lesion and inactivation (Wood and Dudchenko), complex behavioral analysis and small ensemble neural recording (Lauwereyns), and the mathematics of dynamical systems (Tsuda).
Academic Activities
Books
1. Johan Lauwereyns, Rethinking the Three R's in Animal Research: Replacement, Reduction, Refinement, Palgrave Macmillan, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-89300-6, 2018.04.
2. Monkey Business, [URL].
3. Lauwereyns, J., Brain and the Gaze: On the Active Boundaries of Vision, The MIT Press, 2012.09, [URL].
4. Lauwereyns, J., The Anatomy of Bias: How Neural Circuits Weigh the Options., The MIT Press, 2010.01, [URL].
Reports
1. Nishida, H., Takahashi, M., Bird, G.D., & Lauwereyns, J. , Neural mechanisms of bias and sensitivity in animal models of decision making, ECTI-CIT Transactions, 2012.12.
Papers
1. Johan Lauwereyns, Bias versus sensitivity in cognitive processing: A critical, but often overlooked, issue for data analysis, Advances in Cognitive Neurodynamics VI, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-8854-4_50, 2018.06.
2. Johan Lauwereyns, Beyond prediction: Self-organization of meaning with the world as constraint, Advances in Cognitive Neurodynamics VI, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10- 8854-4_49, 2018.06.
3. Noha Zommara, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Johan Lauwereyns, Influence of multiple action-outcome associations on the transition dynamics toward an optimal choice in rats. , Cognitive Neurodynamics, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11571-017-9458-9, 2018.01, When faced with familiar versus novel options, animals may exploit the acquired action–outcome associ- ations or attempt to form new associations. Little is known about which factors determine the strategy of choice behavior in partially comprehended environments. Here we examine the influence of multiple action–outcome associ- ations on choice behavior in the context of rewarding outcomes (food) and aversive outcomes (electric foot- shock). We used a nose-poke paradigm with rats, incor- porating a dilemma between a familiar option and a novel, higher-value option. In Experiment 1, two groups of rats were trained with different outcome schedules: either a single action–outcome association (‘‘Reward-Only’’) or dual action–outcome associations (‘‘Reward-Shock’’; with the added opportunity to avoid an electric foot-shock). In Experiment 2, we employed the same paradigm with two groups of rats performing the task under dual action–out- come associations, with different levels of threat (a low- or high-amplitude electric foot-shock). The choice behavior was clearly influenced by the action–outcome associations, with more efficient transition dynamics to the optimal choice with dual rather than single action–outcome asso- ciations. The level of threat did not affect the transition dynamics. Taken together, the data suggested that the strategy of choice behavior was modulated by the infor- mation complexity of the environment..
4. Noha Zommara, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Kajornvut Ounjai, Johan Lauwereyns, A gaze bias with coarse spatial indexing during a gambling task, Cognitive Neurodynamics, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11571-017-9463-z, 2018.02, Researchers have used eye-tracking methods to infer cognitive processes during decision making in choice tasks involving visual materials. Gaze likelihood analysis has shown a cascading effect, suggestive of a causal role for the gaze in preference formation during evaluative decision making. According to the gaze bias hypothesis, the gaze serves to build commitment gradually towards a choice. Here, we applied gaze likelihood analysis in a two-choice version of the well- known Iowa Gambling Task. This task requires active learning of the value of different choice options. As such, it does not involve visual preference formation, but choice optimization through learning. In Experiment 1 we asked subjects to choose between two decks with different payoff structures, and to give their responses using mouse clicks. Two groups of subjects were exposed to stable versus varying outcome contingencies. The analysis revealed a pronounced gaze bias towards the chosen stimuli in both groups of subjects, plateauing at more than 400 ms before the choice. The early plateauing suggested that the gaze effect partially reflected eye-hand coordination. In Experiment 2 we asked subjects to give responses using a key press. The results again showed a clear gaze bias towards the chosen deck, this time without any influence from eye-hand coordination. In both experiments, there was a clear gaze bias towards the choice even though the gaze fixations did not narrowly focus on the spatial positions of choice options. Taken together, the data suggested a role for gaze in coarse spatial indexing during non-perceptual decision making..
5. Hiroshi Nishida, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Johan Lauwereyns, Within-session dynamics of theta-gamma coupling and high-frequency oscillations during spatial alternation in rat hippocampal area CA1, COGNITIVE NEURODYNAMICS, 10.1007/s11571-014-9289-x, 8, 5, 363-372, 2014.10.
6. Muneyoshi Takahashi, Hiroshi Nishida, A. David Redish, Johan Lauwereyns, Theta phase shift in spike timing and modulation of gamma oscillation: A dynamic code for spatial alternation during fixation in rat hippocampal area CA1., Journal of Neurophysiology, 10.1152/jn.00395.2013, 111, 8, 1601-1614, 2014.04, Although hippocampus is thought to perform various memory-related functions, little is known about the underlying dynamics of neural activity during a preparatory stage before a spatial choice. Here we focus on neural activity that reflects a memory-based code for spatial alternation, independent of current sensory and motor parameters. We recorded multiple single units and local field potentials in the stratum pyramidale of dorsal hippocampal area CA1 while rats performed a delayed spatial-alternation task. This task includes a 1-s fixation in a nose-poke port between selecting alternating reward sites and so provides time-locked enter-and-leave events. At the single-unit level, we concentrated on neurons that were specifically active during the 1-s fixation period, when the rat was ready and waiting for a cue to pursue the task. These neurons showed selective activity as a function of the alternation sequence. We observed a marked shift in the phase timing of the neuronal spikes relative to the theta oscillation, from the theta peak at the beginning of fixation to the theta trough at the end of fixation. The gamma-band local field potential also changed during the fixation period: the high-gamma power (60-90 Hz) decreased and the low-gamma power (30-45 Hz) increased toward the end. These two gamma components were observed at different phases of the ongoing theta oscillation. Taken together, our data suggest a switch in the type of information processing through the fixation period, from externally cued to internally generated..
7. Muneyoshi Takahashi, Yoshikazu Isomura, Yoshio Sakurai, Minoru Tsukada, Johan Lauwereyns, The theta cycle and spike timing during fixation in rat hippocampal CA1, Advances in Cognitive Neurodynamics III; Springer, 2013.05.
8. Yoshinori Ide, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Johan Lauwereyns, Minoru Tsukada, Takeshi Aihara, Integration of hetero inputs to guinea pig auditory cortex established by fear conditioning, Advances in Cognitive Neurodynamics III; Springer, III, 765-771, 2013.05.
9. Hiroshi Nishida, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Jin Kinoshita, Johan Lauwereyns, Transition dynamics in spatial choice, Advances in Cognitive Neurodynamics III; Springer, III, 393-399, 2013.05.
10. Lauwereyns, J., On the other side of consciousness., American Journal of Psychology, 124, 4, 491-493, 2012.12.
11. Fujiwara, H., Sawa, K., Takahashi, M., Lauwereyns, J., Tsukada, M., & Aihara, T., Context and the renewal of conditioned taste aversion: The role of rat dorsal hippocampus examined by electrolytic lesion, Cognitive Neurodynamics, 10.1007/s11571-012-9208-y, 6, 5, 399-407, 2012.10, [URL].
12. Bird, G.D., Lauwereyns, J., & Crawford, M.T., The role of eye movements in decision making and the prospect of exposure effects., Vision Research, 60, 16-21, 2012.05.
13. Weaver, M.D., Aronsen, D., & Lauwereyns, J., A short-lived face alert during inhibition of return., Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 74, 3, 510-520, 2012.04.
14. Xu, M., Lauwereyns, J., & Iramina, K., Dissociation of category versus item priming in face processing: An event-related potentials study., Cognitive Neurodynamics, 6, 2, 155-167, 2012.04.
15. Ide, Y., Miyazaki, T., Lauwereyns, J., Sandner, G., Tsukada, M., & Aihara, T., Optical imaging of plastic changes induced by fear conditioning in the auditory cortex., Cognitive Neurodynamics, 6, 1-10, 1月10日, 2012.02.
16. Takahashi, M., Lauwereyns, J., Sakurai, Y., & Tsukada, M., A code for spatial alternation during fixation in rat hippocampal CA1 neurons., Journal of Neurophysiology, 102, 1, 556-567, 2009.07.
17. Lauwereyns, J. & Wisnewski, R. G., A reaction-time paradigm to measure reward-oriented bias in rats., Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 32, 467-473, 2006.10.
18. Lauwereyns, J., Watanabe, K., Coe, B., & Hikosaka, O., A neural correlate of response bias in monkey caudate nucleus. , Nature, 418, 413-417, 2002.07.
19. Lauwereyns, J., Takikawa, Y., Kawagoe, R., Kobayashi, S., Koizumi, M., Coe, B., Sakagami, M., & Hikosaka, O., Feature-based anticipation of cues that predict reward in monkey caudate nucleus. , Neuron, 33, 463-473, 2002.01.
Presentations
1. Johan Lauwereyns, A mismatch between micro-motives and macro-behavior: Problems with the three R's in animal research, Kyushu-Monash Bioethics Forum, 2018.05.
2. Johan Lauwereyns, Bias versus sensitivity in cognitive processing: A critical, but often overlooked, issue for data analysis, International Conference on Cognitive Neurodynamics, 2017.08.
3. Johan Lauwereyns, Beyond prediction: Self-organization of meaning with the world as constraint, International Conference on Cognitive Neurodynamics, 2017.08.
4. Johan Lauwereyns, Competing objects of moral thought: Parallel and interactive neural mechanisms towards envisioning the real, International Society for Theoretical Psychology, 2017.08.
5. Kajornvut Ounjai, Shunsuke Kobayashi, Johan Lauwereyns, Effects of expectation on gaze fixation and pupil dilation during evaluative decision-making, European Conference on Visual Perception, 2017.08.
6. Alexandra Wolf, Jens Blechert, Kajornvut Ounjai, Johan Lauwereyns, The evaluation of naturalistic food images in self-paced versus time-controlled conditions., European Conference on Visual Perception, 2017.08.
7. Kajornvut Ounjai, Shunsuke Kobayashi, Johan Lauwereyns, Modulation of subjective evaluation by predictive information., European Society for Cognitive Psychology, 2017.09.
8. Alexandra Wolf, Jens Blechert, Kajornvut Ounjai, Johan Lauwereyns, The evaluation of naturalistic food images in competitive versus non-competitive conditions., European Society for Cognitive Psychology, 2017.09.
9. Kajornvut Ounjai, Shunsuke Kobayashi, Johan Lauwereyns, Effect of predictive information in subjective evaluation task., International Society for Psychophysics, 2017.10.
10. Noha Zommara, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Kajornvut Ounjai, Johan Lauwereyns, Evidence of gaze bias effect and visual orienting during risky choice., International Society for Psychophysics, 2017.10.
11. Alexandra Wolf, Jens Blechert, Kajornvut Ounjai, Johan Lauwereyns,, Evaluation of naturalistic food images in two different exposure conditions (free versus time-controlled)., International Society for Psychophysics, 2017.10.
12. LAUWEREYNS JOHAN, A Taste of Infinity: The Biology of Insanity and Creativity, Dr Guislain Lecture, 2016.12.
13. LAUWEREYNS JOHAN, Savoring the Data: A Challenge to Accounts of the Brain as a Prediction Machine, Flemish Society for Psychiatry, 2016.12.
14. LAUWEREYNS JOHAN, Effects of expectation on evaluative decision-making, Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Kyoto University, 2017.05.
15. LAUWEREYNS JOHAN, Transition dynamics toward an optimal spatial choice in rats and humans, Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Kyoto University, 2016.05.
16. LAUWEREYNS JOHAN, Embrace the Implosion: A Lost Style of Philosophy, Struga Poetry Evenings, 2016.08.
17. Johan Lauwereyns, Shizuka Sakurai Lauwereyns, On the role of intrinsic rewards in communication, International Conference on Cognitive Neurodynamics, 2015.06.
18. Hiroshi Nishida, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Johan Lauwereyns, Dynamic information routing in the hippocampus, International Conference on Cognitive Neurodynamics, 2015.06.
19. Johan Lauwereyns, Transition dynamics toward an optimal choice in rats, International Conference on Cognitive Neurodynamics, 2015.06.
20. Johan Lauwereyns, Neural mechanisms of internal switching, Biomedical Engineering International Conference, 2014.11.
21. Johan Lauwereyns, Diminishing returns, increasing costs – time for a paradigm shift?, University of Leuven, 2014.12.
22. Noha Zommara, Hiroshi Nishida, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Johan Lauwereyns, The role of gamma-band activity in hippocampal CA1 during memory-guided versus visually-cued spatial choice, Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, 2013.11.
23. Hiroshi Nishida, Muneyoshi Takahashi, A. David Redish, Johan Lauwereyns, Abrupt information changes in the hippocampal CA1 area during memory-guided alternation, Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, 2013.11.
24. Hiroshi Nishida, Muneyoshi Takahashi, A. David Redish, Johan Lauwereyns, High frequency oscillations for behavioral stabilization during spatial alternation, International Conference of Cognitive Neurodynamics, 2013.06.
25. Hiroshi Nishida, Muneyoshi Takahashi, A. David Redish, Johan Lauwereyns, Within-sessions dynamics of hippocampal HFOs during spatial alternation, Japan Neuroscience Society, 2013.06.
Membership in Academic Society
  • Japanese Society for Cognitive Psychology
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Japan Neuroscience Society
Educational
Educational Activities
Prof. Lauwereyns teaches general and advanced courses in the areas of psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience. He is involved in the G30 project at Kyushu University, targeting specialist education in English for domestic as well as international students. Prof. Lauwereyns, an established poet and essayist as well as a cognitive neuroscientist, likes to apply cross-disciplinary perspectives, integrating his expertise in empirical studies and the humanities (literature, philosophy), both in teaching and in writing science books about decision making and perception.
Other Educational Activities
  • 2015.08, Teaching an intensive course on "The Principles of Neuroeconomics: From Neurophysiology to Behavior" for the Department of Biomedical Engineering, at Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand..
  • 2013.09, Lauwereyns, J. (2013, September). Savoring the data: A challenge to accounts of the brain as a prediction machine. Workshop to celebrate Ichiro Tsuda’s 60th birthday, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan..
Social
Professional and Outreach Activities
Member of New Zealand Animal Ethics Approval Committee for Schools, through Royal Society of New Zealand (from 2005 - 2007)
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