The final goal of human science is to know the self. In the early 1990's, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Sports, and Technology (MECSST, or Monbu-Kagaku-Sho) launched a revolutionary plan for funding academic science in Japan. The plan provides focused support to super select research groups deemed capable of developing into world class centers of excellence (COE) in fields ranging from cosmology to economics (Science 269:474, 1995). The Center for Integrated Human Brain Science is an institute established by this COE project for the specific realistic goal of elucidating the neural substrates of the human mind. The center consists of four departments (Integrated Neuroscience, Functional Neurology & Neurosurgery, Biological Magnetic Resonance, and Digital Medicine).
A final objective of human neuroscience is the elucidation of brain functional organization of human-specific brain functions, for example, language and abstract thinking. The Department of Integrated Neuroscience focuses on the research and education of physiological human brain function based on integrated applications of state-of-the-art, non-invasive technologies such as functional MRI, diffusion tensor analysis, and high density electrical mapping.
The ultimate purpose of clinical brain functional investigation is the development of effective methods for the functional restoration of patients who have sustained brain damage of various causes. The research and education of the Department of Functional Neurology and Neurosurgery, a newly established clinical department, concentrates on delineating the exact brain functional abnormalities associated with structural brain changes and functional brain reorganization. The approach is interdisciplinary and accomplished in close collaboration with previously established clinical departments.
Continuous technological development represents an indispensable component of the recent remarkable advancements in the state of our knowledge of human brain function. Magnetic resonance is a field which provides a number of versatile non-invasive methodologies applicable to the analysis of human specific brain function. The Department of Biological Magnetic Resonance focuses on the research, development and education of magnetic resonance technologies as well as the research and education of human brain function based on integrated knowledge of advanced engineering and non-linear computational analysis.
Rapid advancements of medical technology have dramatically increased the number of specialists required for the care of a single patient, and introduced the paradoxical situation where people in developed countries do not necessarily benefit from further medical advancements. One of the solutions is to take advantage of virtual-world technology. The Department of Digital Medicine focuses on the research, education, and technological development for creating an advanced virtual environment for medical practice.
Center for Integrated Human Brain Science