What’s on URA activities

Developing Methodologies through Multifaceted Approaches to Information Behavior


Unit Name:
HIIS (Human Information Interaction Science)
Unit representative:
Associate Professor Tetsuya Maeshiro, Faculty of Library, Information and Media Science

Unit members:
4 (3 faculty members, no postdoctoral fellows, 1 from other organizations)

Key words:
information behavior, information search, problem-solving, higher brain function


     Human information behavior is associated with the functions of the brain, such as reasoning, memory, decision-making, and visual and auditory perceptions based on the information received by the sensory system. As Internet search systems have been developed to examine a huge amount of information, studies on information behavior have been conducted based on it. However, in the majority of such studies, subjects were generally instructed to implement search tasks, and, therefore, information behavior when independently searching has not yet been fully examined. This research unit, named: HIIS (Human Information Interaction Science), addresses this issue by measuring the brain functions related to information searches, such as reasoning, memory, and decision-making, adopting a brain imaging technique.

Creating Essential Information Search Behavior Models

     Currently, we are creating information search models based on data regarding brain activity. We also analyze the internal and external aspects of behavior when searching for information, adopting other measurement techniques, compare data, and develop models. For example, we conduct experiments to clarify human behavior when being provided with a newspaper article and instructed to search for information with similar contents to it. In such a situation, the search method may vary between people who recognize information based on characters and those who recognize it based on figures. We also aim to clarify brain activity when searching for information using different methods.

Figure 1: An Image Obtained through Brain Activity Measurement (The Region Marked in Red Is Activated)

Figure 1: An Image Obtained through Brain Activity Measurement (The Region Marked in Red Is Activated)

Clarifying Brain Activity When Searching for Information

     It still remains unclear what is going on in our brains when we examine or think about something. We focus on information search as a central part of information behavior, and perform analysis, involving subjects in their twenties or thirties in general and using fMRI and MEG to collect data regarding brain activity when creating key words and evaluating the results of searches. We also examine the cognitive function associated with the creation of key words and judgments based on search results.

fMRI Apparatus for Brain Activity Measurement

fMRI Apparatus for Brain Activity Measurement

Social contributions and achievements
● ASSIA 2013 – Asian Summer School on Information Access
● The Research Center for Knowledge Communities Open Symposium 2013

(Interviewed on October 16, 2013)

Research Administration/Management Office at U Tsukuba TEL 029-853-4434