Dr. Yasuhiro Sakamoto

Research Interests

  • Neural Image Studies
  • Image and Gestalt Perception
  • Neural processing in aesthetic perception


Personal Website: Yasuhiro Sakamoto


Academic Education

03/2010Ph.D. in Sciences and Arts, Keio University, Japan
03/2006M.A. in Media and Governance, Media Design Program, Keio University, Japan
09/2004-07/2005Exchange Student, Institute for Informatics, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
04/2000-03/2004B.A., Keio University, Japan


since 04/2018research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main,  Germany
04/2016-03/2018Postdoc research fellow, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
04/2014-03/2016JSPS Research Fellow for Abroad, Max-Planck-Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
01/2013-12/2013Fellow at DFG Cluster of Excellence »Image Knowledge Gestaltung«, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany
2012Berliner Kunst- und Künstlerförderung (The Promotion of the Visual Arts), Senate of Berlin, Germany
06/2012-11/2012Visiting Lecturer, Wellcome Laboratory of Neurobiology, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University College London, UK
01/2011-12/2012Postdoc Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation, Institute for Art and Visual History, Humboldt-University of Berlin, Germany
01/2011-03/2014Associated Researcher, Section „Das Technische Bild”, Hermann von Helmholtz-Centre for Cultural Technique, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany
04/2009-03/2010Researcher, Media Design Research Institute, Keio University, Japan
06/2008-09/2008DAAD Guest Researcher, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany
04/2006-05/2008JST-Crest Research Assistant, Japan




Journal Articles

Ishizu, T., & Sakamoto, Y. (2017). Ugliness as the fourth wall-breaker: Comment on “Move me, astonish me... delight my eyes and brain: The Vienna Integrated Model of top-down and bottom-up processes in Art Perception (VIMAP) and corresponding affective, evaluative, and neurophysiological correlates” by Matthew Pelowski et al. Physics of Life Reviews, 21, 138–139.  doi:10.1016/j.plrev.2017.06.003

Sakamoto, Y. (2016). Shinkeikei Jinbungaku Josetu [= Einführung in die neuronalen Geisteswissenschaften]. Iwanami Shi-Sou, 1104, "Shinkeikei Jinbungaku [= Neural Humanities]", 6–18.

Jäger, F. & Sakamoto, Y. (2016). Shikoukeitai to Bunkahyoushou toshite no Imēji  (= Japanese Translation of "Denken heißt Formen, Formen heißt Denken. Interview mit Horst Bredekamp"). (Trans.) Yasuhiro Sakamoto. Iwanami Shi-Sou, 1104, "Shinkeikei Jinbungaku [= Neural Humanities]", 34–50.

Sakamoto, Y. (2016). Hifu, Soshite Bisyouhyoushou he no Tabi [= Grenzgänge der Wahrnehmung. Zur Neurologie der petites perceptions.].  Iwanami Shi-Sou, 1104, "Shinkeikei Jinbungaku [= Neural Humanities]", 51–75.

Sakamoto, Y., Kuwahara, R., Sudo, Y. & Inakage, M. (2010). Engineering design method of solid animation device by step motion: Proposing to visual interface design by not-illumination-controlled intermittent apparent motion. Bulletin of Japanese Society for the Science of Design, 57(2).

Sakamoto, Y. & Inakage, M. (2009). Redefinition of the apparent motion in moving images not from intermittent motion and an innovation of new image media. The Journal of The Institute of Image Information and Television Engineers, 63(1), 66–75.  doi:10.3169/itej.63.66

Book Sections

Sakamoto, Y. (2014). Die Technische Anatomie eines mechanischen Entwurfs: Stephan von Huenes Erweiterter Schwitters. In Bildwelten des Wissens: Kunsthistorisches Jahrbuch für Bildkritik,  Bild-Ton-Rhythmus 10(2), (pp. 53–63). Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

Sakamoto, Y. (2013). Sound Sculptures as Embodiment of Cross-modal Gesamtgestalt. MutaMorphosis: Tribute to Uncertainty, Prague: CIANT.

Sakamoto, Y. (2011). Mehrdeutigkeiten der Computerkunst - Computer können doch in den Himmel kommen! [Latent Ambiguities of Computer Art – Computers can go to Heaven as well!]. In Sieck, J. (Ed.), Kultur und Informatik: Multimediale Systeme (pp. 163–175). Boizenburg: vwh-Verlag.

Sakamoto, Y. & De Toffoli, S. (2011). Experimentelle Studien über "originale" und manipulierte Bilder [Experimental Studies of "Original" and Manipulated Painting]. In Forschungsgruppe Historische Lichtgefüge (Ed.), Lichtgefüge: Das Licht im Zeitalter Rembrandts und Vermeers - Ein Handbuch [The Structue of Light: The Light in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer - Handbook] (pp. 50–53). Berlin: Jovis.

Sakamoto, Y. (in collaboration with Okada, I., Sano, F., Takeda, M. and Ishikawa, M.) (2006/2007). Pythagorian Devices No. 30, 37 and 43. In: Pitagorasouti DVD Bukku [Pythagorian Devices DVD Book 1/2]. Eds. Sato, M. and Uchino, M. Tokyo: Shougakukan.

Edited Books

Sakamoto, Y., Tanaka, J., & Takemine, Y. (Eds.). (2019). Image Studies Today: From Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas to neurological Bildwissenschaft. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.

Sakamoto, Y., Meyer-Kalkus, R., Bredekamp, H., Werner, G. & Bruhn, M. (Eds.). (2014). "Bildweltendes Wissens – Kunsthistorisches Jahrbuch für Bildkritik: Bild–Ton–Rhythmus", No.10, Vol.2, Berlin: Akademie Verlag.


Sakamoto, Y. (2010). Human's sensory property based compact model for understanding sensitive perception of apparent motion. Tokyo: National Diet Library (Doctoral Thesis in Japanese, 146 pages).

Short Writings

Sakamoto, Y. (2014). Shinkeikei Jinbungaku: Kurumiwari Ningyou no Bigaku [Neuronale Geisteswissenschaften: Die Ästhetik der Nussknacker]. Yuriika, 46(2), colophon (1 page). Tokyo: Seitosha.

Awards & Grants

2016Humboldt-Kollegs, Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation (Co-Application with Prof. Dr. Jun Tanaka)
2014-2016Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research Abroad, JSPS | The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
2013Fellowship, DFG Cluster of Excellence »Image Knowledge Gestaltung«, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
2012The Promotion of the Visual Arts, Senate of Berlin
2011-2012Humboldt-Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers, Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation
2008Graduate Scholarship for Study and Research, DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)
2004, 2007-2009Research grant, Keio University Taikichiro Mori Memorial Research Fund


  • Apparent Motion

    As early as 1912, Max Wertheimer reported in his famous paper on Gestalt psychology that two individual shapes may be perceived as a moving object if they are presented one after the other within a short time span. This phenomenon is called apparent ...

  • Neuronal Processing of Metaphorical Movement

    This study uses EEG to examine the neuronal processing of verbs which reference physical movement in metaphorical and literal contexts. Rhetorical theory suggests that a language rich in imagery supports an especially lively cognitive and affective ...