The ECSU Team





Head of Unit

Froese profile

Tom FROESE, Assistant Professor
E-mail: tom.froese at
Location: Lab2 B664

Tom is a cognitive scientist with a background in computer science and cybernetics. He works in the areas of artificial life, human-computer interaction, agent-based modeling, and philosophy of mind. He coordinates the Embodied Cognitive Science Unit, and is Editor-in-Chief of Adaptive Behavior.

Research Unit Administrator

Yamashiro profile

E-mail: kaori.yamashiro at
Location: Lab2 RUA

Kaori helps us to run this unit smoothly. She manages our equipment purchases, travel and visits, workshops, and supports us in all of our activities. Please contact her with any requests you may have.


Lerique profile

Sébastien LERIQUE, Postdoc
E-mail: sebastien.lerique at
Location: Lab2 B656
ORCID: ORCID logo 0000-0002-5787-8397

Sébastien has a PhD in Cognitive Science with an anthropological flavour, a BSc in Physics, and strong interests in general hacking and philosophy of technology. In this unit he will work on analysing the systemic physiological and neurological couplings that arise when two people interact with each other.

James profile

Mark JAMES, JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow
Email: mark.james at
Location: Lab2 B600

Mark's has a PhD in the philosophy of embodied cognitive science, a MA in philosophy and a BA in philosophy and psychology. His PhD work was focused on how culture is reproduced through embodied social interaction. Mark's postdoctoral efforts will focus on questions of wellbeing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, exploring the intersection between embodied cognitive science, design and digital technologies.

Andres profile

Andrés G. MEJÍA RAMÓN, Postdoc
Email: andres.mejiaramon at
Location: Lab2 B600

ORCID: ORCID logo 0000-0002-9006-2381

Andrés is an archaeologist and ecologist who uses geophysical and computational methods to understand the relationship between humans and the environment across deep time. His research includes the development of agriculture, religious ideology, and sociopolitical structures in Central Mexico, the Maya area, and Lower Central America. His more-theoretical work includes investigating the consequences of statistical mechanical constraints on human and non-human movement and organization across the landscape.

Finda Profile

Finda Dwi PUTRI, Postdoc
Email: finda.putri at
Location: Lab2 B600

ORCID: ORCID logo 0000-0003-2672-7032

Finda has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, M.Sc. in Biology of Human Performance and Health, and B.Sc. in Biology. She has a research background in Brain-Computer Interface, neurofeedback, and hyperscanning recording, and mostly worked around EEG. She joined the group to take part in the perceptual crossing hyperscanning EEG experiment and analyses.

Leonardo Zapata

Leonardo ZAPATA-FONSECAPostdoc
Location: Lab2 B600c

ORCID: ORCID logo 0000-0001-9793-9791

Leonardo has a PhD in medicine, as well as a medical degree. He works in the perceptual crossing experiment project and is interested in the statistical modelling and the dynamics of dyadic embodied interactions.


Estelle profile

Stephen ESTELLE, Technician
Email: stephen.estelle at
Location: Lab2 B600

Stephen has a BSc in biomedical engineering and MEng in mechanical engineering. He has industry experience in reverse engineering. In this unit he will apply his mechanical engineering skills to support work with robotics and human-computer interfaces.

Morrissey profile

Brian MORRISSEY, Technician
Email: brian.morrissey at
Location: Lab2 B600

Brian spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force as an Aircraft Electrical and Environmental Systems Specialist. Afterward, he obtained his BSc in Psychology and is interested in embodied cognition. He signed on with the unit combining his interests and became the unit’s EEG technician. Additionally, he will learn data analysis and spearhead groundbreaking research in meta-state transitions.

Research Assistants

Natalia KOSHKINA, Research Assistant
Email: Natalia.Koshkina at
Location: Lab2 B656

Natalia has a Ph.D. in International Relations, MA in Political Science, and MA in History. She is interested in the issues of self-perception and self-identification in varying external environments. Natalia joined the unit to work as a Research Assistant on the Covid-19 Survey.

Tae Profile

Tae MORRISSEY, Research Assistant
Email: tae.morrissey at
Location: Lab2 B600

Tae is a certified medical translator. She supports the unit with ethics applications, participant recruitment, data collection and administration matters.

Ph.D. Students

Loh Profile

Chen Lam LOH, OIST Doctoral Candidate
Email: chen.loh at
Location: Lab2 B600

Chen Lam has a BSc in Biomedical Sciences and MSc in Computational Neuroscience and Neuroinformatics. His interests lie in multi-agent social interaction, non-representational theories of cognition and neurolinguistics. In this unit, he studies interpersonal synchrony using mathematical modelling and experimental approaches.

Shpurov Profile

Ivan SHPUROV, OIST Doctoral Candidate
Email: ivan.shpurov at
Location: Lab2 B600

Ivan has a Bachelor's in Neurobiology and a Master's in Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology. During his rotation he will be setting up an evolutionary robotics environment to test the role of bodily degrees of freedom on the degrees of freedom of neural activity.

Weber Profile

Natalya WEBER, OIST Doctoral Candidate
Email: at
Location: Lab2 B600
ORCID: ORCID logo 0000-0002-1955-3612

Natalya has a BSc in chemistry and MSc in theoretical chemistry. During her rotation she used network analysis to characterize active learning environments. In this unit she is studying the fundamental principles of learning and its relationship to emergent creativity in complex adaptive systems through computational modeling.

Hayashi Profile

Shannon HAYASHI, OIST Doctoral Candidate
Email: shannon.hayashi1 at
Location: Lab2 B600

Shannon has a Bachelor's in Art, Psychology, and Neuroscience. Currently, Shannon is interested in cognition, especially ways to improve cognition, and comparative studies. During rotation Shannon will be participating in the Video Interactions project to study realtime social interactions.

Takada Profile

Kazuma TAKADA, OIST Doctoral Candidate
Email: k.takada at
Location: Lab2 B600

Kazuma has a BSc and MSc in computer science. His interest is “Self-Dynamics” in the human-computer integration experience. He works on this topic through the demonstration and the psychophysical/cognitive experiment. He is not only a Ph.D. student at OIST, but also he is a Research Assistant of SonyCSL and a Visiting Researcher of Keio Media Design. He approaches his theme from various perspectives and aspires to work across disciplines.


Karelin Profile

Georgii KARELIN,OIST Doctoral Candidate
Email: georgii.karelin at
Location: Lab2 B600

Georgii has a combined BSc and MSc in theoretical astrophysics. Currently, his interests in intersection of astrobiology and artificial life.


Co-supervised Ph.D. Students

Kensei Profile

Kensei KIKUCHI, OIST Doctoral Candidate
Email: kensei.kikuchi at

Kensei obtained Bachelor’s in Engineering (Material Science) in 2020. His previous work was focused on developing autonomous robots and molecular computers using DNA as building blocks. After enrollment of OIST, his interest shifted to evolution of animal sociality and collective behavior. Under co-supervision by Dr.Tom Froese, Kensei is now studying macroscopic trends in social evolution of animals, exploring the relationship between brain development and animal behavior.

Ph.D. Rotation Students

Dmitriy Sakharuk

Dmitriy SAKHARUK, OIST Doctoral Candidate
Location: Lab2 B600c

Dmitriy has completed his bachelor's and master's degrees in physics, officially specializing in biophysics, although his research projects were in neuroscience. He is interested in understanding how the human brain works at all levels, from systemic and behavioral to cellular and molecular. He is particularly interested in brain-computer interfaces and other methods of interacting with the brain, such as EEG, TMS, and more.

Research Interns

Stromberg Profile

Mats-Helge STROMBERG, Research intern
Email: mats-stromberg at
Location: Lab2 B600c

Mats has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in International Business Administration. During his internship, he will be assisting Katja in working with the Enactive Torch sensory substitution interface and looking at the role of agency in perception.

Aisha Belhadi

Aisha BELHADI, Research intern
Location: Lab2 B600c

Aisha is a psychiatrist with experience in adult and child psychiatry. She has an Msc in biological neuroscience. She is interested in temporality, and how it relates to mental health, developmental processes, spatial perception, and broader socio-cultural interactions. During her internship, she will be learning about perceptual crossing experiments, and looking into temporality from different theoretical perspectives.