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

    Welcome to NTU Touch lab

  • News

    Papers under review or in preparation


    1. Suvilehto JT, Nummenmaa L, Harada T, Dunbar RIM, Hari R, Turner R, Sadato N, Kitada R* (under review) Culturally universalism on the relationship between emotional bond and the topography of social touching

    2. Kitada R*, Doizaki R, Kwon J, Nakagawa E, Kajimoto H, Sakamoto M, Sadato N (under review) Brain network underlying tactile softness perception - an fMRI study

    3. Ito K*, Chew Wei O, Kitada R* (under review) Emotional Tears Communicate Sadness or Emotional Flooding

    4. Pasqualotto A, Jia Yin C, Ohka M, Kitada R*, (under review) Expanding the velvet hand illusion: The effect of object compliance and hand ownership

    5. Okamoto Y, Kitada R, Seki A, Yanaka H, Kochiyama T, Koeda T (under review) Differences between children and adults in functional connectivity for gestural interaction.

    6. Kitada R*, Yoshihara K, Sasaki AT, Kochiyama T and Sadato N (in preparation) Supramodal and vision-dependent functional connectivity patterns in the extrastriate body area.


    And more !

    Conference Presentation in 2017 and 2018

    1. Kitada R (2018 July 28th) The role of the extrastriate body area in social cognition: from body recognition to contingency detection The Annual meeting at the Japan Neuroscience Society (Kobe, Japan).

    2. Kitada R (2018 June 19th) The effect of congenital blindness on body-sensitivity in the lateral occipito-temporal cortex. The Annual meeting of Human Brain Mapping 2018 (Singapore).

    3. Kitada R, Doizaki R, Kwon J, Nakagawa E, Kajimoto H, Sakamoto M, Sadato N (2018 June 19th-21st) Brain network underlying tactile estimation of object stiffness - an fMRI study. The Annual meeting of Human Brain Mapping 2018 (Singapore).

    4. Yoshimoto T, Chikazoe J, Okazaki S, Sumiya M, Takahashi H.K., Nakagawa E, Koike T, Kitada R, Okamoto S, Nakata M, Kosaka H, Yada T, Sadato N (2017 November 4th) Abstractness of value representation in orbitofrontal cortex. Society for Neuroscience 2017 (Washington,D.C., USA).

    5. Suvilehto JT, Kitada R, Dunbar RIM, Turner R, Sadato N, Nummenmaa L Cultural Universalism in Social Touch. (2017 September 3rd) Poster and Data Blitz talk at 2nd Congress of the International Association for the Study of Affective Touch. Liverpool, UK.


    Hosting a satellite conference (BranSTIM2018)

  • 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.))
  • Members

    I am looking for a research fellow and graduate students working with me!

    Ryo Kitada,

    Principal Investigator, Nanyang Associate Professor

    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 PhD in Neuroscience at Kyoto University and then worked as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate under supervision of Dr. Susan J. Lederman. After spending 9 years at an assistant professor at National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS) Japan, I started this lab from January 2017.



    Achille Pasqualotto,

    Research Fellow

    Achille Pasqualotto received his PhD in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin. Since then, he has worked as Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Hong Kong and Collège de France, and as Assistant Professor at Sabanci University. Since May 2018, he joined Nanyang Technological University. His interests include: spatial memory, multisensory integration (esp. vision and haptics), sensory substitution, and electric brain stimulation.



    Graduate student

    Hicret Atilgan



    URECA students 2018-2019

    Leong Utek

    Ng Hui Si

    Wong Ern

    Janice Koi Jue Xin



    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 corresponding author

    1. Fahey S, Santana C, Kitada R, Zheng Z* (in press) Affective judgment of social touch on a hand modulated by hand embodiment Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
    2. 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.
    3. 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
    4. 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 
    5. 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
    6. 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.
    7. 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
    8.  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
    9. 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
    10. 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.
    11. 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. 
    12. 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)
    13. 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
    14. 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
    15. 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
    16. 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
    17. 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
    18. 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
    19. 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
    20. 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
    21. 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
    22. 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
    23. 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
    24. 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
    25. 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
    26. 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
    27. 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
    28. 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
    29. 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
    30. 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