On Sunday, December 17, more than 200 participants including graduate students gathered at the International Research Center for Neurointelligence (IRCN) First International Symposium held at Ito Hall on the University of Tokyo’s Hongo Campus.

On October 10, 2017, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) selected IRCN as part of their World Premier International Research Initiative (WPI). The University of Tokyo now hosts two WPI, the other being the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU), which was selected in 2007. (Related URL: http://www.ipmu.jp/)

Under the leadership of Takao Hensch (Professor at Harvard University) as director, IRCN aims to create the discipline of neurointelligence, a synergy of the three fields of neurodevelopment, mental disorder and artificial intelligence. In addition to the ambitious vision of solving the ultimate question of the origins of human intelligence, IRCN desires to contribute to society by problem solving through collaboration with the humanities and social sciences.

The First International Symposium celebrated the launch of IRCN. Following Director Hensch’s opening speech, the University of Tokyo President Makoto Gonokami, Director General of Research Promotion Bureau MEXT Yasunao Seki, and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science WPI Program Director Akira Ukawa greeted the audience.

With the University of Tokyo’s desire to continuously contribute to society and expectation and excitement of IRCN as a background, President Gonokami promised that the University plans to strongly support IRCN.



In the following “WPI Overviews” session, Director of Kavli IPMU Hitoshi Murayama, Director of International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine Masashi Yanagisawa, and Director Hensch introduced the cornerstones of the program.

In the afternoon, domestic and international guest speakers and researchers provided academic lectures relating to the three themes of “basic,” “computational” and “human.”



Under the leadership of Director Hensch, IRCN strives to create and advance the nascent field of neurointelligence. The creation of this field will attract top-level scholars from around the globe and realize a truly international research environment.

IRCN not only strives to contribute to academic diversity, but also to promote student interaction between the University of Tokyo and other universities such as Harvard University. It is expected that enforcement of education programs will contribute to increasing students’ global competency.

Director Takao Hensch’s greeting and the newly revealed logo mark of IRCN (From the Left) Director of Kavli IPMU Hitoshi Murayama, Executive Director of the University of Tokyo Hiroaki Aihara, President of the University of Tokyo Makoto Gonokami, Director of IRCN Takao Hensch, Director General of Research Promotion Bureau MEXT Yasunao Seki, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science WPI Program Director Akira Ukawa, and Director of IIIS Masashi Yanagisawa