As one of “The 21st Century Centers Of Excellence (COE) Programs in Humanities” funded by the Ministry of Education, “The Strategic Research and Education Center for an Integrated Approach to Language, Brain, and Cognition,” hereafter called the LBC Research Center, was launched in 2002. With GSICS as its core, it carried out an intensive research and education program for five years and accomplished its proposed objectives in the spring of 2007.
In the course of its project, the LBC Research Center explored the emerging field of “language in the brain,” known as the language-brain-cognition studies. Its notable results range from interdisciplinary findings in brain imaging studies, linguistic typology and formal linguistic theories to psychology and information science.
At the same time, the LBC Research Center actively publicized its research findings through international forums, symposia, and lectures as a venue of discussion between overseas and domestic scholars and students. It also trained junior researchers in linguistic science of the next generation and thereby conferred a doctorate upon many of them.
It gradually turned out, however, that the language-brain-cognition studies have many outstanding research questions to be pursued beyond the five-year term. The need to establish a new research center thus arose, a center that could carry on and further develop the acclaimed research and education of the LBC Research Center.
As of 1 April 2007, therefore, the Graduate School of International Cultural Studies, which played a central role in the COE program, founded “The Research Center for Language, Brain and Cognition” as an intra-university institute in order to better utilize and further enrich the academic heritage of the LBC Research Center. Our new Research Center for Language, Brain and Cognition aims to advance the language-brain-cognition studies through interdisciplinary collaboration with various sub-disciplines at Tohoku University. Like its predecessor, it is expected to provide a model hatchery for a new generation of researchers in linguistic sciences.
It should also be noted that our Research Center for Language, Brain and Cognition has duly taken over the MRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) facilities and other related resources that the LBC Research Center installed and administered in the course of its program.