Goal 9 R&D Project
'Maximizing well-being and agency on the basis of interpersonal comparison of brain indicators'

Project Manager (PM)
Kenji Matsumoto
Professor, Brain Science Institute, Tamagawa University

This project aims not only to improve "happiness" at the level of individuals, but also to achieve aggregation and equality at the level of society. To this end, we will provide innovative technology to measure interpersonally comparable indicators of "happiness" from brain/neural activity. "Happiness" is enhanced not only by the experience of “well-being,” which benefits each person’s life, but also by the recognition of “agency,” a way of life that each person has individually decided. We will study “well-being” and “agency” in future society using humanities and social science methods and virtual reality technology. Moreover, we will also achieve individual comparison of well-being and agency by elucidating brain indicators of subjective feelings “pleasure” and “aspiration”. In doing so we will bridge neuroscience studies and real-world activities, such as evaluating mobility policies in smart cities.

Structure of the project

Assistant to PM

Tetsu Okumura
Professor, Brain Science Institute,
Tamagawa University
Yasuhiro Tanaka
Professor, Brain Science Institute,
Tamagawa University

External Evaluation Committee Members

  • Sayaka Oki Professor, Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo (From 2023)
  • Takashi Hanakawa Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University (2023)
  • Atsushi Iriki Senior Researcher, Innovation Design Office, Riken Institute (From 2024)

About the Logo

The collaboration and integration of the 5 R&D groups to advance this project are represented by a single stroke of the brain and heart drawn in a gradation of five colors. The illustration of a city inside the heart represents the experience of "happiness" in mind created by the brain in a virtual future society. This "happiness" will be realized in the actual society when people are protected by a society that maximizes the "well-being" and "agency" identified in this project, and this is expressed by the words "Well-being & Agency" arranged to cover the brain.