from left

           Thomas, Minju, Minkyu, Nadine, Jinho, Dongqi, Takazumi, Jun, Tomoe, Hengameh, Ahmadreza, Fabien, Jungsik
          (2017 Feb)


Dr. Jun Tani

Postdoctoral Scholar

Takazumi Matsumoto

E-mail : takazumi.matsumoto at

I received my BSc and MSc in Computer Science and Applications from the Department of Computer Science, University of Warwick, U.K., in 2009. After I was selected to receive the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship, I completed my PhD studies at the Department of Computing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, in 2015. Following graduation, I worked as a Teaching Fellow and Post-doctoral Fellow in the Cognitive Computing Lab, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. I joined the Tani Unit in October 2017 as a Post-doctoral Scholar. My research background is primarily in developing data mining and machine learning algorithms for GPUs, and my current research goal involves using artificial neural networks for compliant robot control.

Fabien Benureau

E-mail : fabien.benureau at

Website :

After a Ph.D. in developmental robotics at the Flowers team in Inria Bordeaux, France, with Pierre-Yves Oudeyer, and a postdoc in neuroscience at in the Mnemosyne team at the Neurodegenerative Diseases Institute in Bordeaux with Nicolas Rougier, I am pursuing a postdoc at OIST focused on developmental processes in cognitive architectures. The goal is to better understand what processes are at play in children during their development, and work toward open-ended, lifelong learning in robots. 


Visiting Researcher

Jeffrey White

E-mail : jeffrey.white at

Website :

University of Missouri (PhD, Philosophy, 2006). Inspired by Ron Sun's Duality of Mind and his founding interest in cognitive social science, my dissertation "Conscience: towards the mechanism of morality" articulated an information processing model of cognitive agency integrating hybrid AI, traditional philosophy and cognitive science. Independently, I work mostly in machine ethics and autonomy, self and social-political system resilience. Currently co-chair, Philosophy of AI, 2018 World Congress of Philosophy, area editor for PhilPapers, reviewer for a number of conferences and journals. Going forward with CNRU, the plan is to work more directly on autonomy and especially fully autonomous artificial agency, extending recent work on "formal consciousness" to "formal autonomy" and building from there.


Technical Staff

Minkyu Choi

E-mail : minkyu.choi8904 at

I obtained BS in electrical engineering from Yonsei University. I finished MS in electrical engineering from KAIST, Korea. I am now working in OIST as a technical staff temporarily for one year. I have been working on robotics and machine learning. Especially, I am interested in adopting key features of human cognition to robotics using machine learning. Previously I worked on predictive coding for robot's vision system. Recently, I am enhancing my work by using Bayesian inference. 

Jinho Chung

E-mail : jinho.chung at

I pursued my undergraduate degree in Cognitive Science at UC San Diego. Enjoying La Jolla's bright sunlight, I did my first research internship under Prof. V.S. Ramachandran's supervison and later in Prof. Douglas Nitz's Systems Neuroscience Lab. After graduation, I became a technician of Dr. Sebastien Royer's lab in my hometown Seoul, where I was responsible for developing 3D-printed microdrive systems for multi-shank silicon electrodes with integrated optical fibers for optogenetics. Over the past few years, my research interest has gradually shifted to robotics and neural networks; now I am fortunate enough to join Prof. Jun Tani's team this year to help building smart robotic systems based on the lab's novel RNN algorithms. In the future, I wish I can utilize the skills that I am going to master in Tani Unit to discover practical treatments for people suffering with complex neuro-immunological disorders such as ME/CFS.


Ph.D. Student

Dongqi Han

E-mail : dongqi.han at

I got my BSc on physics from USTC(University of Science and Technology of China). I started my PhD from 2016 in OIST, and my research interests are   artificial intelligence and computational neuroscience, including but not limiting to robot control with neural network, auditory processing(such as music) with machine learning and signal processing in spiking neural circuits. Currently I am focusing on reinforcement learning based on the architecture called multiple time-scale recurrent neural network(MTRNN).

Nadine Wirkuttis

E-mail : nadine.wirkuttis at

I joined the Cognitive Neurorobotics Research Unit in January 2018 as a PhD student. My research focusses on the cognitive development in both human as well as artificial agents, with special emphasis on the development of higher cognitive functions resulting from critical learning periods.
Before coming to OIST, I graduated from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany where I received my BSc and MSc in Information Engineering and Management. As an IT consultant, I gaining insights into the private sector before having decided to return to academia in order to do more fundamental work in the field of neurologically inspired AI systems. 


Special Research Students (Ph.D. Students)

Ahmadreza Ahmadi

E-mail : ar.ahmadi62 at

I received the B.S. in control engineering (2008) from Shiraz University of Technology and the M.E. in mechatronics and automatic control (2012) from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). I am currently a PhD student in the school of electrical engineering at Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and a special research student in the cognitive neurorobotics unit at OIST. My research interests include neurorobotics, stochastic neural models, and deep learning. 

Jungsik Hwang

E-mail : jungsik.hwang at

Website :

I received my BS (Electronic and Electrical Engineering) and MS (Interaction Science) degrees from Sungkyunkwan University, Korea. I joined Tani Unit at KAIST for my PhD study in 2013 and I came to OIST as a Special Research Student in 2017. I’ve been working on how robots can learn from multimodal experience and develop intelligent behaviors. My long-term research goal is to make a robot that does its best to survive in the real world.

MinJu Jung

E-mail : minju5436 at

I received the B.S. in electronic engineering from Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea, in 2013. I am currently pursuing the M.S./Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering Department at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon, Korea and a Special Research Student at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST), Okinawa, Japan. My current research interests include video understanding and robot planning.


Visiting Research Student



Hengameh Zabihi

E-mail : hengamezabihi at

Rotation Student


Miles Desforges

E-mail : miles.desforges at


Thomas Burns

E-mail : thomas.burns at



Tomoe Furuya

E-mail : tomoe.furuya at


(continued from the former labs, Cognitive Neuro-robotics Lab in KAIST and Lab for Behavior and Dynamic Cognition in Riken Brain Science Inst.)

  • MS. Hyeokhyen Kwon, Ph.D. Georgia Institute of Technology.
  • Dr. Shingo Murata, Research Fellow, Waseda University
  • Dr. Hiroaki Arie, Assistant Professor, Waseda University
  • Dr. Michael Maniadakis, Postdoctoral Researcher, Foundation for Research and Technolohy
  • Dr. Tetsu Okumura, Adjunct Professor, Shizuoka Institute of Science and Technology
  • Dr. Misako Komatsu, Postdoctoral fellow, Riken Brain Science Inst.
  • Dr. Fady S. Alnajjar, Asst. Professor, Collage of IT, UAEU
  • Dr. Yuuya Sugita, Engineer, MTI Ltd.
  • Dr. Ichiro Igari, Director, MTI Ltd.
  • Dr. Ryota Horie, Adjunct Professor, Shibaura Inst. Of Technology
  • Dr. Chiaki Hirata, Adjunct Professor, Jumonji Univ.
  • Dr. Ryunosuke Nishimoto, unknown
  • Dr. Ranier Paine, Clinical Fellow, NIH
  • Dr. Jun Namikawa, Data Scientist, Recruit Communications Co Ltd.
  • Dr. Yuuichi Yamashita, Section Chief, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry
  • Dr. Tetsuya Ogata, Professor, Waseda Univ.
  • Dr. Yuzuru Sato, Adjunct Professor, Hokkaido Univ.
  • Dr. Jun Yamamoto, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center