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Johan Lauwereyns Last modified date:2023.08.15

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

Graduate School
Undergraduate School
Administration Post
Vice President

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Website of Dubito Lab (Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory) .
Academic Degree
Ph.D in Psychology
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Field of Specialization
Cognitive Science, Bioethics
ORCID(Open Researcher and Contributor ID)
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
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 study "The Doubt Function" in all its guises: How uncertainty and volatility influence perception, attention, emotion, motivation, learning, memory, and decision making.
Our focus on the doubt function proceeds from a basic science perspective (cognitive science) and from an applied science perspective (bioethics, tending toward empirical bioethics).
We aim to improve the bioethical reasoning and praxis with respect to the use of animals in research: Toward a scientifically and ethically motivated approach to reevaluating, revising and optimizing the use of animal models.
We integrate cross-disciplinary perspectives in Psychology, Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Arts and Letters, particularly with a view to making cognitive neuroscience relevant to the humanities. In the parlance of C.P. Snow, we move back and forth between "the two cultures," working toward their mutual enrichment.
Research Interests
  • Empirical Bioethics: Toward a Fair Framing of Answer Space
    keyword : Cognitive bias, nudging, medical ethics
  • Meta-decision making during evaluative processing
    keyword : Meta-Decision Making, Evaluative Processing
  • The role of visual attention in evaluative decision-making
    keyword : Decision-making, cognitive neuroscience, visual attention
  • Effects of Context and Framing on Choosing Food Products: Combining Behavioral and Psychophysiological Data to Predict Consumer Decisions
    keyword : Decision-Making; Food; Attention; Context
  • Perceptual integration and the creation of object files
    keyword : precursors of symbolic processing, rats, nose-poke paradigm, multi-unit and LFP recording
  • Validity and value of information seeking
    keyword : information theory, rats, nose-poke paradigm, multi-unit and LFP recording
  • Context, exploration, and the emergence of bias
    keyword : neuroeconomics, rats, nose-poke paradigm, multi-unit and LFP recording
  • Deliverative decision-making
    keyword : chaotic itinerancy, rats, nose-poke paradigm, multi-unit and LFP recording
Current and Past Project
  • In this theme, we investigate the principles of subjective evaluation. From ancient times, it has been thought that subjective likes and dislikes are merely a personal matter that cannot be understood with logic. In Latin, there is the famous proverb, "De gustibus non est disputandum." However, this may not be true. In fact, we can approach our subjective choices as the output of a complex system that combines many factors. Then, we can try to investigate systematically which factors can influence the evaluation: from expectation to familiarity, and from physical salience to inherent structural complexity. Thus, we aim to uncover the hidden logic of subjective likes and dislikes.
  • The aim of this project is to examine the relationship between dopamine prediction-error signals and concurrent evaluative processing through fMRI. Particularly, in evaluative decision-making tasks, predictive cues about upcoming items may influence the subsequent evaluation process. However, it is unknown how the dopaminergic processing relates to affective value in this situation. Some researchers have suggested that the affect resides in prediction error, whereas others have suggested that the affect resides in the anticipation. The present fMRI project aims to disambiguate these possibilities by exploiting conflict paradigms to zoom in on the relation between dopaminergic activity and evaluative processing.
  • 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
1. Johan Lauwereyns, Rethinking the Three R's in Animal Research: Replacement, Reduction, Refinement, Palgrave Macmillan,, 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].
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.
1. Xu Ji, Jin Yimeng, Johan Lauwereyns, The framing of choice nudges prolonged processing in the evaluation of food images., Frontiers in Psychology, 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1039251, 2023.06.
2. Johan Lauwereyns, Tracking the validity of animal models for biomedical research, ALTEX Proceedings, 10, 2, 46, ISSN 2194-0479, 2022.09, In the more than six decades since Russell and Burch formulated the 3Rs, surprisingly little progress has been made in the scientific investigation of the validity of animal models for biomedical re- search. The issue of external validity (i.e., how relevant is the ani- mal model?) is often ignored altogether, with researchers choosing animal models out of habit or on the basis of unchecked assump- tions [1]. Worse, the issue of internal validity (i.e., how reliable or reproducible are the findings?) has placed animal-based biomedi- cal research in a negative spotlight with the general public [2].
While most animal researchers may personally be commit- ted to improving their research practices, the micro-motives of well-meaning individuals do not guarantee optimal macro-be- havior at the aggregate level [3]. As has been described in behav- ioral economics, a minority of defectors can disrupt the develop- ment of cooperative dynamics. In the present context, defectors would be researchers who persist in substandard research prac- tices, even if this is not out of malice or incompetence. All that is required for the “survival of the un-fittest,” or the continuation of substandard research practices, is a research culture with per- verse incentives (e.g., short-term gains in publications).
The issues can be vividly illustrated with the use of non-human primates during the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, “[p] rimate researchers in the United States have banded together for an ambitious monkey study that would do head-to-head compar- isons of the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates” [4], while researchers in China reported that “primary exposure to SARS- CoV-2 protects against reinfection in rhesus macaques” [5], ob- taining non-significant results from a complex study with a sam- ple of seven, which proved to be entirely irrelevant, if not plain wrong. The banding together of primate researchers in the United States and the non-significant data from China were both report- ed in Science, arguably the pinnacle of scientific publishing, al- though anyone with a modicum of scientific reasoning could eas- ily have shown that the primate researchers in the United States engaged in self-serving research bias that ignored the question of external validity, and that the sample of seven rhesus macaques in China did not approach anything like the sample size required for the given research design (as could have been assessed with readily available tools for power analysis, such as G*Power).
The solutions are technically not difficult, but they require a sea change in research culture. In this respect, animal research- ers can turn to the human behavioral sciences for a paradigm of a neighboring research field that is making great strides toward the required change in research culture. What is needed is a shift to open science, driven by leading journals and researchers, spread-
ing the guidelines and facilitating the implementation of good practices. These rest on the twin pillars of the pre-registration of experiments and the use of power analysis to compute sample size. These twin pillars can effectively redress the issue of internal validity.
For the external validity, the challenges for animal research are arguably unique. Previous efforts to compare the validity of animal models directly (e.g., [6]) have typically been limit- ed to qualitative, categorical assessment. Moreover, the most important type of replacement – as according to Alexander Pope’s verse, “The proper study of mankind is man” – is all too easi- ly forgotten. Here, I would propose that, before engaging in any animal research, researchers should establish the conditions under which it is impossible to work with human volunteers as the preferred animal model. Indeed, even for the most urgent issues or risky experiments, we may still find human volunteers. We just need proper guidelines and broad societal support (e.g., [7]). Then, to the extent that there are still types of research that re- quire the use of animals, it is imperative that we track their validity – this means openly sharing and compiling all the data, and regulating the protocols, not just in academia, but also in industry. Sharing the data, and following academia- and industry-wide protocols, should be the entry point for a license to use animals for research..
3. Sudo, R., Nakashima, S. F., Ukezono, M., Takano, Y., & Lauwereyns, J. , The role of temperature in moral decision-making: Limited reproducibility, Frontiers in Psychology, 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.681527, 12, Article 681527, 2021.09.
4. Danilo V. Vargas, Johan Lauwereyns, Setting the space for deliberation in decision-making, Cognitive Neurodynamics, 10.1007/s11571-021-09681-2, 2021.04, Decision-making models in the behavioral, cognitive, and neural sciences typically consist of forced-choice paradigms with two alternatives. While theoretically it is feasible to translate any decision situation to a sequence of binary choices, real-life decision-making is typically more complex and nonlinear, involving choices among multiple items, graded judgments, and deferments of decision-making. Here, we discuss how the complexity of real-life decision-making can be addressed using conventional decision-making models by focusing on the interactive dynamics between criteria settings and the collection of evidence. Decision-makers can engage in multi-stage, parallel decision-making by exploiting the space for deliberation, with non-binary readings of evidence available at any point in time. The interactive dynamics principally adhere to the speed-accuracy tradeoff, such that increasing the space for deliberation enables extended data collection. The setting of space for deliberation reflects a form of meta-decision-making that can, and should be, studied empirically as a value-based exercise that weighs the prior propensities, the economics of information seeking, and the potential outcomes. Importantly, the control of the space for deliberation raises a question of agency. Decision-makers may actively and explicitly set their own decision parameters, but these parameters may also be set by environmental pressures. Thus, decision-makers may be influenced—or nudged in a particular direction—by how decision problems are framed, with a sense of urgency or a binary definition of choice options. We argue that a proper understanding of these mechanisms has important practical implications toward the optimal usage of space for deliberation..
5. Adam Clulow, Johan Lauwereyns, Animal Research, Safeguards, and Lessons from the Long History of Judicial Torture, Journal of Animal Ethics, 10.5406/janimalethics.10.2.0103, 10, 2, 103-114, 2020.09, For animal research, the precautionary principle was written into public policy through the so-called three R’s of replacement, reduction, and refinement. These guidelines, as developed by Russell and Burch six decades ago, aimed to establish safeguards against the abuse of animals in the pursuit of science. While these safeguards, which started from the basic premise that science itself would benefit from a reduction of animal suffering, seem compelling at first, the three R’s have in practice generated a degree of confusion while opening up loopholes that have enabled researchers to effectively dismiss some of the more inconvenient aspects of ethical concerns. Such problems have been discussed in detail by multiple authors. Here, we suggest a different approach by arguing that a clear parallel can be drawn between the shortcomings evident in the current three R’s model and the flawed practice of early modern judicial torture, in which a set of elabo- rate safeguards that were designed to prevent abuses served instead to create the same combination of confusion and easily exploited loopholes. In the case of judicial torture, attempts to refine the system from within produced limited results, and effective change only took place when individual legal systems succeeded in enforcing clear absolutes. We explore the implications of this for the regulation of animal research by pointing to the need for achievable absolutes, based on a clear, evidence-based, and publicly deliberated rationale, in order to facilitate and improve research ethics..
6. Kajornvut Ounjai, Lalida Suppaso, Jakob Hohwy, Johan Lauwereyns, Tracking the influence of predictive cues on the evaluation of food images: Volatility enables nudging, Frontiers in Psychology, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.569078, 2020.09, In previous research on the evaluation of food images, we found that appetitive food images were rated higher following a positive prediction than following a negative prediction, and vice versa for aversive food images. The findings suggested an active confirmation bias. Here, we examine whether this influence from prediction depends on the evaluative polarization of the food images. Specifically, we divided the set of food images into “strong” and “mild” images by how polarized (i.e., extreme) their average ratings were across all conditions. With respect to the influence from prediction, we raise two alternative hypotheses. According to a predictive dissonance hypothesis, the larger the discrepancy between prediction and outcome, the stronger the active inference toward accommodating the outcome with the prediction; thus, the confirmation bias should obtain particularly with strong images. Conversely, according to a nudging- in-volatility hypothesis, the active confirmation bias operates only on images within a dynamic range, where the values of images are volatile, and not on the evaluation of images that are too obviously appetitive or aversive; accordingly, the effects from prediction should occur predominately with mild images. Across the data from two experiments, we found that the evaluation of mild images tended to exhibit the confirmation bias, with ratings that followed the direction given by the prediction. For strong images, there was no confirmation bias. Our findings corroborate the nudging- in-volatility hypothesis, suggesting that predictive cues may be able to tip the balance of evaluation particularly for food images that do not have a strongly polarized value..
7. Ji Xu, Noha Mohsen Zommara, Kajornvut Ounjai, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Shunsuke Kobayashi, Tetsuya Matsuda, Johan Lauwereyns, Urgency promotes affective disengagement: Effects from bivalent cues on preference formation for abstract images, Frontiers in Psychology, 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01404, 2020.06.
8. Kajornvut Ounjai, Shunsuke Kobayashi, Johan Lauwereyns, Effects of predictive information on pupil dilation during the evaluation of food images, IEEE Explore, 10.1109/BMEiCON47515.2019.8990234, 2019.12.
9. Alexandra Wolf, Kajornvut Ounjai, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Shunsuke Kobayashi, Tetsuya Matsuda, Johan Lauwereyns, Evaluative processing of food images: Longer viewing for indecisive preference formation, Frontiers in Psychology, 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00608, 2019.03, The well-known gaze cascade hypothesis proposes that as people look longer at an item, they tend to show an increased preference for it. However, using single food images as stimuli, we recently obtained results that clearly deviated from the general proposal that the gaze both expresses and influences preference formation. Instead, the pattern of data depended on the self-determination of exposure duration as well as the type of evaluation task. In order to disambiguate how the type of evaluation determines the relationship between viewing and liking we conducted the present follow-up study, with a fixed response set size as opposed to the varying set sizes in our previous study. In non-exclusive evaluation tasks, subjects were asked how much they liked individual food images. The recorded response was a number from 1 to 3. In exclusive evaluation tasks, subjects were asked for each individual food image to give one of three response options toward a limited selection: include it, exclude it, or defer the judgment. When subjects were able to determine the exposure duration, both the non-exclusive and exclusive evaluations produced inverted U-shaped trends such that the polar ends of the evaluation (the positive and negative extremes) were associated with relatively short viewing times, whereas the middle category had the longest viewing times. Thus, the data once again provided firm evidence against the notion that longer viewing facilitates preference formation. Moreover, the fact that non-exclusive and exclusive evaluation produced similar inverted U-shaped patterns suggests that the response set size is the critical factor that accounts for the observations here versus in our previous study. When keeping the response set size constant, with an equal opportunity to observe inverted U-shaped patterns, the findings are suggestive of a role for the level of decisiveness in determining the length of viewing time. For items that can be categorically identified as positive or negative, the evaluations are soon completed, with relatively brief viewing times. The prolonged visual inspection for the middle category may reflect doubt or uncertainty during the evaluative processing, possibly with an increased effort of information integration before reaching a conclusion..
10. Kajornvut Ounjai, Shunsuke Kobayashi, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Tetsuya Matsuda, Johan Lauwereyns, Active confirmation bias in the evaluative processing of food images, Scientific Reports, 10.1038/s41598-018-35179-9, 2018.11, Predictive processing is fundamental to many aspects of the human mind, including perception and decision-making. It remains to be elucidated, however, in which way predictive information impacts on evaluative processing, particularly in tasks that employ bivalent stimulus sets. Various accounts, including framing, proactive interference, and cognitive control, appear to imply contradictory proposals on the relation between prediction and preference formation. To disambiguate whether predictive cues produce congruent biases versus opponent mechanisms in evaluative processing, we conducted two experiments in which participants were asked to rate individual food images. The image database included appetitive and aversive items. In each trial, a cue predicted, with varying degrees of reliability, the valence of the impending food image. In both experiments, we found that the ratings exhibited congruent biases as a function of the reliability of the predictive cue, with the highest evaluations following the most reliable positive-valence predictions. Eye prepositioning further showed a selective spatial bias suggestive of response preparation in line with the predictions. The response times also exhibited a pattern of results consistent with selective preparation, producing slow responses following invalid predictions. The data suggested an active form of evaluative processing, implementing a confirmation bias that aims to accommodate the prediction..
11. Alexandra Wolf, Kajornvut Ounjai, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Shunsuke Kobayashi, Tetsuya Matsuda, Johan Lauwereyns, Evaluative processing of food images: A conditional role for viewing in preference formation, Frontiers in Psychology, 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00936, 2018.06.
12. Johan Lauwereyns, Bias versus sensitivity in cognitive processing: A critical, but often overlooked, issue for data analysis, Advances in Cognitive Neurodynamics VI,, 2018.06.
13. Johan Lauwereyns, Beyond prediction: Self-organization of meaning with the world as constraint, Advances in Cognitive Neurodynamics VI, 8854-4_49, 2018.06.
14. Noha Zommara, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Johan Lauwereyns, Influence of multiple action-outcome associations on the transition dynamics toward an optimal choice in rats. , Cognitive Neurodynamics,, 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..
15. Noha Zommara, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Kajornvut Ounjai, Johan Lauwereyns, A gaze bias with coarse spatial indexing during a gambling task, Cognitive Neurodynamics,, 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..
16. 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.
17. 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..
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. Hiroshi Nishida, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Jin Kinoshita, Johan Lauwereyns, Transition dynamics in spatial choice, Advances in Cognitive Neurodynamics III; Springer, III, 393-399, 2013.05.
21. Lauwereyns, J., On the other side of consciousness., American Journal of Psychology, 124, 4, 491-493, 2012.12.
22. 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].
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. 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.
27. 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.
28. 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.
29. Lauwereyns, J., Watanabe, K., Coe, B., & Hikosaka, O., A neural correlate of response bias in monkey caudate nucleus. , Nature, 418, 413-417, 2002.07.
30. 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.
1. Johan Lauwereyns, University of Glasgow: Future of internationalization. Session 4: Internationalization and reputation, University of Glasgow, 2022.05.
2. Johan Lauwereyns, Future rebalance: Emerging trends and workforce in the Asia Pacific, QS APPLE 2021, 2021.11.
3. Jin, Y., Xu, J., & Lauwereyns, J., Influences from response framing on viewing and decision times during evaluative processing of food images, 43rd European Conference on Visual Perception, 2021.08.
4. Ma, C., Ounjai, K., Xu, J., & Lauwereyns, J. , Speed and polarization in the moral evaluation of real-world images, 43rd European Conference on Visual Perception, 2021.08.
5. Danyang, L., Lauwereyns, J., Ma, C., & Jin, Y., Changes of mind in the moral evaluation of real-world images, 43rd European Conference on Visual Perception, 2021.08.
6. Johan Lauwereyns, What are the challenges for building and maintaining university reputation?, Times Higher Education Asia Universities Summit, 2021.06.
7. Johan Lauwereyns, Meta-decision-making: The science of how we make decisions, Q-AOS Brown Bag Seminar nr.6, 2021.05, How does the way we present decision problems influence the decision-making? How does the way we ask a question influence the answer that we get? In this seminar, I will focus on the various cognitive biases and heuristics that shape the information-processing during decision-making. In setting the space for deliberation, decision-makers make crucial meta-decisions in how much time, effort, and information-processing they invest toward making decisions. These meta-decisions crucially impact on the quality and speed of decisions, the role of emotion and habitual processing, as well as on the positioning with respect to opportunity costs. The goal of the present scientific approach is to systematically identify the potential adverse effects from such meta-decisions, and to develop optimal strategies for decision-making that aims for rationality, fairness, and well-being.
8. Kajornvut Ounjai, Shunsuke Kobayashi, Johan Lauwereyns, Effects of predictive information on pupil dilation during the evaluation of food images, Biomedical Engineering International Conference, 2019.12.
9. Johan Lauwereyns, Perspectives from cognitive science on decision making for future earth, Decision Science Forum, 2019.08.
10. Johan Lauwereyns, Perspectives from cognitive science on bioethics and biomedical engineering, Life Engineering, 2019.08.
11. Johan Lauwereyns, Meta-decision making and the adaptive framing of answer space, Research Institute of Mathematical Sciences, 2019.05.
12. Johan Lauwereyns, Perspectives from cognitive science on bioethics, Section of Discourse Psychology, Japanese Society for Cognitive Psychology, 2019.02.
13. Johan Lauwereyns, Alexandra Wolf, Kajornvut Ounjai, Preliminary study regarding evaluation of food images in two exposure conditions (free vs. time-controlled exposure)., Japan Society for Cognitive Psychology, 2018.09.
14. Johan Lauwereyns, Boredom and intrinsic reward in education, 2nd Kyudai-Ateneo Philosophy and Education (KAPE) Colloquium, 2018.07.
15. 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.
16. Johan Lauwereyns, Bias versus sensitivity in cognitive processing: A critical, but often overlooked, issue for data analysis, International Conference on Cognitive Neurodynamics, 2017.08.
17. Johan Lauwereyns, Beyond prediction: Self-organization of meaning with the world as constraint, International Conference on Cognitive Neurodynamics, 2017.08.
18. Johan Lauwereyns, Competing objects of moral thought: Parallel and interactive neural mechanisms towards envisioning the real, International Society for Theoretical Psychology, 2017.08.
19. 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.
20. 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.
21. Kajornvut Ounjai, Shunsuke Kobayashi, Johan Lauwereyns, Modulation of subjective evaluation by predictive information., European Society for Cognitive Psychology, 2017.09.
22. 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.
23. Kajornvut Ounjai, Shunsuke Kobayashi, Johan Lauwereyns, Effect of predictive information in subjective evaluation task., International Society for Psychophysics, 2017.10.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. LAUWEREYNS JOHAN, A Taste of Infinity: The Biology of Insanity and Creativity, Dr Guislain Lecture, 2016.12.
27. LAUWEREYNS JOHAN, Savoring the Data: A Challenge to Accounts of the Brain as a Prediction Machine, Flemish Society for Psychiatry, 2016.12.
28. LAUWEREYNS JOHAN, Effects of expectation on evaluative decision-making, Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Kyoto University, 2017.05.
29. LAUWEREYNS JOHAN, Transition dynamics toward an optimal spatial choice in rats and humans, Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Kyoto University, 2016.05.
30. LAUWEREYNS JOHAN, Embrace the Implosion: A Lost Style of Philosophy, Struga Poetry Evenings, 2016.08.
31. Johan Lauwereyns, Shizuka Sakurai Lauwereyns, On the role of intrinsic rewards in communication, International Conference on Cognitive Neurodynamics, 2015.06.
32. Hiroshi Nishida, Muneyoshi Takahashi, Johan Lauwereyns, Dynamic information routing in the hippocampus, International Conference on Cognitive Neurodynamics, 2015.06.
33. Johan Lauwereyns, Transition dynamics toward an optimal choice in rats, International Conference on Cognitive Neurodynamics, 2015.06.
34. Johan Lauwereyns, Neural mechanisms of internal switching, Biomedical Engineering International Conference, 2014.11.
35. Johan Lauwereyns, Diminishing returns, increasing costs – time for a paradigm shift?, University of Leuven, 2014.12.
36. 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.
37. 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.
38. 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.
39. 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 Alternatives to Animal Experiments
  • Japanese Society for Cognitive Psychology
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Japan Neuroscience Society
Educational Activities
Prof. Lauwereyns teaches general and advanced courses in the areas of psychology, cognitive science, and bioethics. He is closely involved in the design and implementation of the new School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation, for which he created the cross-disciplinary area of "Humans and Life", pulling bioethics to the foreground as one of the interdisciplinary research themes. Prof. Lauwereyns, an established writer and essayist as well as a cognitive scientist, aims to integrate his expertise in empirical studies and the humanities (literature, philosophy), both in teaching and in writing science books about decision making and bioethics.
Other Educational Activities
  • 2019.03, Teaching an intensive course on "Animal Ethics" for the School of Philosophy, Historical and International Studies, at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia..
  • 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..
Professional and Outreach Activities
Member of New Zealand Animal Ethics Approval Committee for Schools, through Royal Society of New Zealand (from 2005 - 2007)