• Changing how we "see" the world by understanding "touch"

    Welcome to Multisensory Lab

    @ Kobe Japan

  • News

    Our lab was on the part of the TV show (NHK BS Premium, Japanese)


    New member joined the lab!!

    Dr. Makita joined the lab as the project researcher (lecturer)


    The lab moved to Kobe University Japan

    The Japanese lab is launched at the graduate school of intercultural studies, Kobe University

    Papers recently published or in press

    1. Tan ZY, Choo CM, Lin Y, Ho HN, Kitada R* (in press) The Effect of Temperature on Tactile Softness Perception. IEEE Transactions on Haptics
    2. Yoshimoto T, Okazaki S, Sumiya M, Takahashi HK, Nakagawa E, Koike T, Kitada R, Okamoto S, Nakata M, Yada T, Kosaka H, Sadato N, Chikazoe J (in press). Coexistence of sensory qualities and value representations in human orbitofrontal cortex. Neurosci Res.
    2. Wong LS, Kwon J, Zheng Z, Styles SJ, Sakamoto M, Kitada R* (in press) Japanese sound-symbolic words for representing the hardness of an object are judged similarly by Japanese and English speakers. Frontiers in Psychology
  • Missions and Goals

    Finding something solid, but new, different and exciting

    Aiming to hit between the eyes of others.

    Connecting scientific findings with applications

    Linking the findings in cognitive neuroscience and experimental psychology with things that can help society

    Training our skills and mind through cutting-edge researches

    Through working on cutting-edge researches together, we learn not only skills of cognitive neuroscience, but also way of thinking.

  • Projects

    How Touch works? (Touch and its relation with other senses)

    Ongoing projects

    1. Neural mechanisms of "Material perception and Onomatopia" (with Prof. Sakamoto and Kajimoto, Dr. Doizaki and Dr. Kwon (UEC) and Prof. Sadato and Nakagawa (NIPS Japan) 
    2. Neural mechanisms of "Softness perception" (with Prof. Sakamoto, Prof. Kajimoto, Dr. Doizaki and Dr. Kwon (UEC), with Prof. Miyaoka (SIST) and Prof. Sadato (NIPS))
    3. Neural representation of "Tactile spatial patterns" (with Prof. Miyawaki (UEC)) 
    4. "Softness perception" and its relationship with affective touch  
    5. Cultural difference of "Social touch" (with Prof. Turner ( Max Plank), Prof. Nummenmaa (Turku Univ), Dr. Suvilehto at (Aalto Univ), Prof. Sadato (NIPS Japan)).
    6. Neural mechanisms of "Social touch"(with Dr. Kawamichi (Gunmma Univ.), Prof. Sadato, Sugawara and Nakagawa and Ms. Hamano and Mr. Saito (NIPS)).
    And more !

    Cognitive and Social neuroscience

    Ongoing projects

    1. The influence of Blindness on cognitive processing (from touch to social cognition) (with Prof. Miyawaki (UEC) and Prof. Fukunaga and Sadato (NIPS) )
    2. The pathophysiology of ASD (with Dr. Okamoto (ATR-BAIC), Prof. Kosaka (Fukui Univ.))
    3. Differences of brain organization between different types of athletes (e.g., swimmer vs. footballer) (with Prof. Aramaki (Chukyo Univ.))
  • Principal Investigator

    Ryo Kitada,

    Associate Professor Kobe University

    I am a cognitive neuroscientist who has been fascinated by many questions on mind and brain, such as how our mind and brain work, how they develop, and how they become atypical.


    I completed my Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Kyoto University (under the supervision of late Prof. Michikazu Matsumura) and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate under the supervision of Dr. Susan J. Lederman. After spending 9 years as an assistant professor at National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS) Japan, I joined Nanyang Technological University between 2017 and 2022. I have been working at the Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University as an Associate Professor since 2021.



  • Member

    Current members

    Lecturer (the project for Kakenhi)

    Kai Makita


    Akane Nango (FYP student, Kobe)

    Mana Ogawa (FYP student, Kobe)

    Yurika Hayashi (FYP student, Kobe)

    Shiori Hasegawa (FYP student, Kobe)

    Mio Yoshida (FYP student, Kobe)

    Alumni (@NTU Singapore)

    Research fellow

    Achille Pasqualotto (Assoc Prof, University of Tsukuba, Japan)

    Project Officer

    Tan Zheng Yee (graduate school at Singapore University of Social Sciences) 

    Graduate Student

    Hicret Atilgan (Ph.D student @ Annabel Chen Lab, NTU)

    URECA/FYP students 2020-2021

    Ern Wong (currently graduate school at IMT Lucca Italy)
    Leong Utek (currently graduate school at NUS Singapore)
    Wong Li Shan 
    Megan Ng 
    Mica Yap
    Lee Xue Er
    Cameron Mavericks Choo 

    URECA/FYP students 2019-2020

    Janice Koi
    Ching Siaw Ting Christine
    Lin Youneng
    Wong Li Shan

    URECA/FYP students 2018-2019

    Leong Utek
    Ng Hui Si Megan
    Wong Ern
    Janice Koi Jue Xin

    URECA/FYP students 2017-2018

    Chai Jia Yin Cindy

    Lu Hui Ying
    Lek Zhi Wei
    Zhang Xinyi
    Teo Juat Yi Freda

  • Publications

    Articles (English only)

    *indicates the corresponding author

    1. Tan ZY, Choo CM, Lin Y, Ho HN, Kitada R* (in press) The Effect of Temperature on Tactile Softness Perception. IEEE Transactions on Haptics
    2. Yoshimoto T, Okazaki S, Sumiya M, Takahashi HK, Nakagawa E, Koike T, Kitada R, Okamoto S, Nakata M, Yada T, Kosaka H, Sadato N, Chikazoe J (in press). Coexistence of sensory qualities and value representations in human orbitofrontal cortex. Neuroscience Research.
    3. Wong LS, Kwon J, Zheng Z, Styles SJ, Sakamoto M, Kitada R* (2022) Japanese sound-symbolic words for representing the hardness of an object are judged similarly by Japanese and English speakers. Frontiers in Psychology 13: 830306
    4. Kitada R*, Sadato N (2021) Multisensory integration and its plasticity – how nature and nurture contribute to forming individual differences? (Editorial) A1-A5 Cortex

    5. Okamoto Y, Kitada R*, Kochiyama T, Miyahara M, Naruse H, Sadato N, Okazawa H, Kosaka H (2021) Importance of the early visual cortex and the lateral occipito-temporal cortex for the self-hand specific perspective process. Neuroimage: Reports. 2021; 1(4):100046.

    6. Kitada R*, Ng M, Tan ZY, Lee XE, Kochiyama T (2021). Physical correlates of human-like softness elicit high tactile pleasantness. Scientific Reports. 11(1):16510.

    7. Kitada R*, Kwon J, Doizaki R, Nakagawa E, Tanigawa T, Kochiyama T, Kajimoto H, Sakamoto M, Sadato N (2021) Brain networks underlying the processing of sound symbolism related to softness perception. Scientific Reports 11, 7399 #

    8. Okamoto Y, Kitada R, Tanabe HC, Sasaki AT, Kochiyama T, Yahata N, Sadato N (2021) The extrastriate body area is involved in reciprocal imitation of hand gestures, vocalizations, and facial expressions: a univariate and multivariate fMRI study. Social Neuroscience. 16(4) 448-465

    9. Pasqualotto A, Ng MHS, Tan ZY, Kitada R* (2020) Tactile perception of pleasantness in relation to perceived softness. Scientific Reports 10: 11189
    10. Okamoto Y*, Kitada R, Kochiyama T, Naruse H, Makita K, Miyahara M, Okazawa H and Kosaka H* (2020) Visual Body Part Representation in the Lateral Occipitotemporal Cortex in Children/Adolescents and Adults. Cerebral Cortex Communications 1: 1-13  
    11. Okamoto Y*, Kitada R, Seki A, Yanaka H; Kochiyama T; Koeda T (2020) Differences between children and adults in functional connectivity between the inferior frontal gyrus and extrastriate body area for gestural interaction. Social Neuroscience 15: 311-323 
    12. Pasqualotto A*, Jia Yin C, Ohka M, Kitada R* (2020) The effect of object compliance on the velvet hand illusion IEEE Transactions on Haptics 13: 571-577
    13. Kanayama N*, Hara M, Watanabe J, Kitada R, Sakamoto M, Yamawaki S (2019) Controlled emotional tactile stimulation during functional magnetic resonance imaging and Electroencephalography Journal of Neuroscience Methods 327: 108393
    14. Kitada R*, Doizaki R, Kwon J, Nakagawa E, Kajimoto H, Sakamoto M, Sadato N (2019) Brain networks underlying tactile softness perception: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study NeuroImage 197, 156-166.
    15. Ito K*, Chew Wei O, Kitada R* (2019) Emotional Tears Communicate Sadness But Not Excessive Emotions Without Other Contextual Knowledge. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 878
    16. Suvilehto JT, Nummenmaa L, Harada T, Dunbar RIM, Hari R, Turner R, Sadato N, Kitada R* (2019) Cross-cultural similarity in relationship-specific social touching Proceedings of the Royal Society B 286(1901):20190467
    17. Fahey S, Santana C, Kitada R, Zheng Z* (2019) Affective judgment of social touch on a hand modulated by hand embodiment Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 72, 2408-2422 
    18. Sasaki AT, Okamoto Y, Kochiyama T, Kitada R*, Sadato N (2018) Distinct sensitivities of the lateral prefrontal cortex and extrastriate body area to contingency between executed and observed actions Cortex, 108, 234-251.
    19. Rajaei N, Aoki N, Takahashi HK, Miyaoka T, Kochiyama T, Ohka M, Sadato N, Kitada R* (2018) The brain networks underlying conscious tactile perception of textures revealed by the Velvet Hand Illusion Human Brain Mapping, 39, 4787-4801
    20. Okamoto Y*, Kitada R, Miyahara M, Kochiyama T, Naruse H, Sadato N, Okazawa H, Kosaka H (2018) Altered perspective-dependent brain activationfor viewing hands and associated imitation difficulties for individuals with ASD NeuroImage: Clinical, 19, 384-395 
    21. Kawamichi H*, Sugawara SK, Hamano YH, Kitada R, Nakagawa E, Kochiyama T, Sadato N (2018) Neural correlates underlying change in state self-esteem Scientific Reports 8,  1798
    22. Fujimoto S, Tanaka S, Laakso I, Yamaguchi T, Kon N, Nakayama T, Kondo K and Kitada R* (2017) The Effect of Dual-Hemisphere Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Over the Parietal Operculum on Tactile Orientation Discrimination. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 11:173.
    23. Sumiya M, Koike T, Okazaki S, Kitada R* & Sadato N* (2017) Brain networks of social action-outcome contingency: the role of the ventral striatum in integrating signals from the sensory cortex and medial prefrontal cortex. Neuroscience Research 123, 43-54
    24. Okamoto Y*, Kosaka H, Kitada R, Seki A, Tanabe HC, Hayashi MJ, Kochiyama T, Saito DN, Yanaka HT, Munesue T, Ishitobi M, Omori M, Wada Y, Okazawa H, Koeda T, Sadato N (2017) Age-dependent atypicalities in body- and face-sensitive activation of the EBA and FFA in individuals with ASD. Neuroscience Research 119, 38-52
    25. Yang J, Kitada R*, Kochiyama T, Yu Y, Makita K, Araki Y, Wu J* and Sadato N (2017) Brain networks involved in tactile speed classification of moving dot patterns: the effects of speed and dot periodicity Scientific Reports, 7, 40931
    26. Tanaka SC*, Yamada K*, Kitada R, Tanaka S, Sugawara SK, Ohtake F and Sadato N* (2016) Overstatement in happiness reporting with ordinal, bounded scale. Scientific Reports, 6, 21321.
    27. Takahashi HK, Kitada R*, Sasaki AT, Kawamichi H, Okazaki S, Kochiyama T and Sadato N* (2015) Brain networks of affective mentalizing revealed by the tear effect: the integrative role of the medial prefrontal cortex and precuneus. Neuroscience Research, 101, pp. 32-43. 
    28. Kawamichi H*, Kitada R*, Yoshihara K, Takahashi H and Sadato N (2015) Interpersonal Touch Suppresses Visual Processing of Aversive Stimuli.   Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9, 164 (1st and 2nd authors equally contributed to the study)
    29. Okamoto Y, Kitada R, Tanabe HC, Hayashi MJ, Kochiyiama T, Munesue T, Ishitobi M, Saito DN, Yanaka HT, Omori M, Wada Y, Okazawa H, Sasaki AT, Morita T, Itakura S, Kosaka H and Sadato N*(2014) Attenuation of the contingency detection effect in the extrastriate body area in autism spectrum disorder. Neuroscience Research, 87, pp. 66-76
    30. Kitada R*, Sasaki AT, Okamoto Y, Kochiyama T and Sadato N (2014) Role of the precuneus in the detection of incongruency between tactile and visual texture information: A functional MRI study. Neuropsychologia, 64, pp.252–262
    31. Kitada R*, Yoshihara K, Sasaki AT, Hashiguchi M, Kochiyama T and Sadato N (2014) The brain network underlying the recognition of hand gestures in the blind: the supramodal role of the extrastriate body area. The Journal of Neuroscience, 34, pp. 10096-10108
    32. Miyahara M*, Kitada R*, Sasaki AT, Okamoto Y, Tanabe HC and Sadato N (2013) From gestures to words: spontaneous verbal labeling of complex sequential hand movements reduces fMRI activation of the imitation-related regions. Neuroscience Research, 75, pp. 228-238
    33. Kitada R*, Okamoto Y, Sasaki AT, Kochiyama T, Miyahara M, Lederman SJ and Sadato N (2013) Early visual experience and the recognition of basic facial expressions: involvement of the middle temporal and inferior frontal gyri during haptic identification by the early blind. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 7
    34. Kitada R*, Sadato N and Lederman SJ (2012) Tactile perception of nonpainful unpleasantness in relation to perceived roughness: Effects of inter-element spacing and speed of relative motion of rigid 2-D raised-dot patterns at two body loci, Perception, 41, pp. 204-229
    35. Pawluk D*, Kitada R, Abramowicz A, Hamilton C and Lederman SJ (2011) Figure/Ground Segmentation via a Haptic Glance: Attributing Initial Finger Contacts to Objects or Their Supporting Surfaces. IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 4, pp. 2-13
    36. Kitada R*, Johnsrude IS, Kochiyama T and Lederman SJ (2010) Brain networks involved in haptic and visual identification of facial expressions of emotion: an fMRI study. NeuroImage, 49, pp. 1677-1689
    37. Kitada R*, Dijkerman HC, Soo G and Lederman SJ (2010) Representing human hands haptically or visually from first-person versus third-person perspectives. Perception, 39, pp. 236-254
    38. Kitada R*, Johnsrude IS, Kochiyama T and Lederman SJ (2009) Functional specialization and convergence in the occipito-temporal cortex supporting haptic and visual identification of human faces and body parts: an fMRI study. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21, pp. 2027-2045
    39. Lederman SJ*, Klatzky RL, Abramowicz A, Salsman K, Kitada R and Hamilton C (2007) Haptic recognition of static and dynamic expressions of emotion in the live face. Psychological Science, 18, pp. 158-164
    40. Lawrence MA, Kitada R, Klatzky RL and Lederman SJ* (2007) Haptic roughness perception of linear gratings via bare finger or rigid probe. Perception, 36, pp. 547-557
    41. Kitada R, Kito T, Saito DN, Kochiyama T, Matsumura M, Sadato N* and Lederman SJ (2006) Multisensory activation of the intraparietal area when classifying grating orientation: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. The Journal of neuroscience, 26, pp. 7491-7501
    42. Kilgour AR, Kitada R, Servos P, James TW and Lederman SJ* (2005) Haptic face identification activates ventral occipital and temporal areas: an fMRI study Brain and Cognition, 59, pp. 246-257---PDF
    43. Kitada R, Hashimoto T, Kochiyama T, Kito T, Okada T, Matsumura M, Lederman SJ and Sadato N* (2005) Tactile estimation of the roughness of gratings yields a graded response in the human brain: an fMRI study. NeuroImage, 25, pp. 90-100
    44. Kitada R, Kochiyama T, Hashimoto T, Naito E and Matsumura M* (2003) Moving tactile stimuli of fingers are integrated in the intraparietal and inferior parietal cortices. Neuroreport, 14, pp. 719-724
    45. Naito E, Kochiyama T, Kitada R, Nakamura S, Matsumura M, Yonekura Y and Sadato N* (2002) Internally simulated movement sensations during motor imagery activate cortical motor areas and the cerebellum. The Journal of Neuroscience, 22, pp. 3683-3691---PDF
    46. Kitada R, Naito E, and Matsumura M* (2002) Perceptual changes in illusory wrist flexion angles resulting from motor imagery of the same wrist movements. Neuroscience, 109, pp. 701-707

    Review, Book Chapter and Conference Papers (English only)

    1. Kitada R (2016) THE BRAIN NETWORK FOR HAPTIC OBJECT RECOGNITON. In H. Kajimoto, S. Saga & M. Konyo (eds). Pervasive haptics, pp. 22-37. Springer Japan
    2. Pawluk DTV, Adams RJ, Kitada R (2015) Review: Behavioral Research, Technology Development and Applications in Assistive Technology for Individuals Who are Blind or Vision Impaired Using Haptics. IEEE transactions on haptics, 8, pp. 258-278
    3. Kawamichi H*, Yoshihara K, Kitada R, Matsunaga M, Sasaki AT, Yoshida Y, Takahashi HC, Sadato N. (2014). Sense of Acceptance: Key Factor of Social Learning. In Akazawa T, Ogihara N, C Tanabe H and Terashima H (Eds), Dynamics of Learning in Neanderthals and Modern Humans (Vol.2: pp217-220). Tokyo: Springer Japan
    4. Lederman SJ*, Kitada R, Pawluk D(2010) Haptic perception. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology (4th edition), 2, pp. 750-752, John Wiley & Sons.
    5. Kitada R*, Pawluk D (2010) Tactile sensation. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology (4th edition), 4, pp. 1751-1752, John Wiley & Sons.
    6. Lederman SJ*, Klatzky RL, Kitada R (2010) Haptic face processing and its relation to vision. In J. Kaiser & M. Naumer (eds). Multsensory Object Perception in the Primate Brain. Springer Verlag pp. 273-300
    7. Pawluk D*, Kitada R, Abramowicz A, Hamilton C, Lederman SJ (2010) Haptic figure-ground differentiation via a haptic glance. Proceedings of the Annual Haptics Symposium on Teleoperator and Virtual-Environment Systems, IEEE Haptics Symposium, 25-26 March, Waltham Massachusetts, USA, pp. 63-66
    8. Lederman SJ*, Kilgour AR, Kitada R, Klatzky RL, Hamilton C (2007) Haptic face processing. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology 61, pp. 230-241