Ai Koizumi

Throughout our life, our brain helps us adapt to the surrounding environment. However, our brain may not always stay adaptive, e.g., when genes bias neural development in certain directions, or when a traumatic experience leaves strong fear memory traces. Such traits or states of the brain may appear dysfunctional to some. But I prefer to see them as “neurodiversity,” a quality that can potentially enrich all our lives if the individuals with these diverse brains are better accommodated by society.

In my research, I aim to shed light on the potential benefits and hidden talents behind seemingly non-adaptive brain functions using neuroscientific approaches. I also aim to overcome insufficiencies in current mental health care by developing novel techniques to better monitor, predict, and prevent the development of mental disorders such as PTSD, and implement these techniques in actual clinical settings. Through my research, I wish to contribute to the creation of a “mentally accessible” society, where all individuals can thrive regardless of where they stand on the spectrum of neurodiversity.

[keywords] Mental accessibility / Mental health / Neurodiversity / Neuroscience / Emotion

Selected Publications

Koizumi, A., Amano, K., Cortese, A., Shibata, K., Yoshida, W., Seymour, B., Kawato, M., & Lau, H. (2017). Fear reduction without fear through reinforcement of neural activity that bypasses conscious exposure. Nature Human Behaviour, 1: 0006.

Koizumi, A., Lau, H., Mobbs, D. (2016). Is fear perception special? Evidence at the level of decision-making and subjective confidence. Social Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience, 11(11):1772-1782.

Cortese, A. *, Amano, K. *, Koizumi, A. *, Kawato, M., Lau, H. (2016). Multivoxel neurofeedback selectively modulates confidence without changing perceptual performance. Nature Communications, 7: 13669.(*equally contributed first author)


Ai KOIZUMI received her B.A. in Psychology and Cinema (double major) from The State University of New York, Binghamton (2005), and her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Tokyo (2012). Her research career includes time as a researcher in the Columbia University Department of Psychology and the Center for Information and Neural Networks (CiNet). She joined Sony Computer Science Laboratories in January 2019 as an associate researcher. She currently serves as a special lecturer at the Keio University Graduate School of Media and Governance, and a cooperating researcher with Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) and Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO). Previously, she served as a special researcher or special international researcher with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, NTT Communications Science Laboratories, the Japan-U.S. Brain Research Cooperation Program, and the Leading Initiative for Excellent Young Researchers (LEADER).

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