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Shigeki Watanuki Last modified date:2020.06.17

Professor / Physiological Anthropology
Department of Human Science
Faculty of Design

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Academic Degree
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Field of Specialization
Kansei Science・Physiological Anthropology
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
Outline Activities
The purpose of our study is to clarify the function of mind such as sensibility, impression, pleasantnesss, unpleasantness by physiological measures. Kansei is translated into Sensibility in English, Sinlichkeit in German. Sensibility, for one thing, is the sensitivity of feelings which animals also have, and it is also the sensitivity of emotion judged from various psychological value standards such as humanity, sense of beauty, race, society, and individuality.
It is thought that sensibility has been developed since the birth of vertebrates about 450 million years ago, but the reason represented in language is as new as about 5 million.
Modern society is said to be the era of human absence. One of the reasons seems to be because we have had a tendency to focus on reason and not placed the importance on sensibility.
Would it give human certain kind of natural selection when we take sensibility lightly and emphasize only on reason?
At our laboratory we research widely the characteristic of physiological resnponses : brain wave, autonomous nerve, incretion immunity system of various emotions associated with stimuli of the sense of sight, hearing, smell, touch, vibrate.
This fundamental research has lead to the development of various high function products with added-value.
Research Interests
  • aa
    keyword : stress, endocrine, activity of immunity, closed space
  • aa
    keyword : mitochondrial DNA Polymorphism, haplogroup, physiological responses, serotonin transporter gene polymorphisms, oxytocin receptor gene polymorphisms
  • Psychophysiological research on Human sensibility and Emotion
    keyword : Kansei Science, Sense, Emotion, Sensibility
Current and Past Project
  • A study on the non-visual information processing in humans - Characteristics of the retinohypothalamic tract in rats Part 1 -
Academic Activities
1. Takayuki Nishimura, Takafumi Katsumura, Midori Motoi, Hiroki Oota, Shigeki Watanuki, Experimental evidence reveals the UCP1 genotype changes the oxygen consumption attributed to non-shivering thermogenesis in humans, Scientific Reports, 10.1038/s41598-017-05766-3, 5570, 7, 2017.07, Abstract
Humans have spread out all over the world adapting to many different cold environments. Recent worldwide genome analyses and animal experiments have reported dozens of genes associated with cold adaptation. The uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) gene enhances thermogenesis reaction in a physiological process by blocking ATP (adenosine triphosphate) synthesis on a mitochondrial membrane in brown adipose tissues. To our knowledge, no previous studies have shown an association between variants of the UCP1 gene and physiological phenotypes concerning non-shivering thermogenesis (NST) under the condition of low temperature in humans. We showed that the degree of NST for healthy subjects in an artificial climate chamber is significantly different among UCP1 genotypes. Defining the haplotypes covering the UCP1 region (39.4 kb), we found that the frequency of the haplotype with the highest NST was significantly correlated with latitudes and ambient temperature. Thus, the data in this study provide the first evidence that the UCP1 genotype alters the efficiency of NST in humans, and likely supports the hypothesis that the UCP1 gene has been related to cold adaptation in human evolutionary history..
Membership in Academic Society
  • Japan Society of Physiological Anthropology
  • Japan Ergonomics Society
  • The Anthropological Society of Nippon
  • Japanese Society for Physiological Psychology
Educational Activities
As of April 2014, five doctoral students, three master's program students, three undergraduate students, are studying and doing research at my laboratory.
I instruct undergraduate students in Kansei science, Basic Practice of Ergonomics, graduate students in Advanced Human Sensibility and Emotion and part of Methodology for Ergonomics and general education.