Doctoral Researcher
London School of Economics



given name first syllable rhymes with queue

You can't make cheesecakes out of snow —Yiddish proverb

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How do population-level cultural dynamics and individual psychology mutually shape each other? And what does this cyclic interaction reveal about human evolution and development? I use computational modeling, data science, behavioral experiments, and theoretical analysis to study these problems.

I am preparing a PhD dissertation in the field of Psychological and Behavioural Science under the guidance of Dr. Michael Muthukrishna at the London School of Economics and Political Science

Areas of expertise

        Cultural & cognitive evolution, cultural psychology, behavioral biology










PhD, Psychological and Behavioural Science

London School of Economics and Political Science

       Dissertation title:

       The role of cultural dynamics in the construction of human mental functions

MA, Psychology (in Behavioral and Evolutionary Neuroscience)

Cornell University, US


BSc with Greatest Honors, Psychology

University of Lethbridge, Canada

Technical Diploma in Spatial Design

Kuwasawa Design School, Japan

Research positions


Research programmer

Section of Brain Function Information

National Institute for Physiological Sciences

Okazaki, Japan

Other employment



Freelance Japanese–English translator/editor for art and design publications (list of translated works below)

Junior interior & furniture designer

Design Office IMA

Tokyo, Japan


Uchiyama R & Muthukrishna M. (in press). Cultural evolutionary neuroscience. In J Chiao, S Li, B Turner, SY Lee-Tauler, B Pringle (Eds.), Handbook of Cultural Neuroscience and Global Mental Health. Oxford University Press. [PsyArXiv]

Uchiyama R & Muthukrishna M. (2019). Archetypes are a poor primitive for a theory of mental representations. Psychological Inquiry, 30. 87–92. [PDF]

Smolla M, Invernizzi E, Bazhydai M, Casoli M, Deffner D, Faria GS, Jones N, Kanwal J, Staehler AM, Uchiyama R. (2018). Second annual workshop of the Association of Early-Career Social Learning Researchers in St Andrews, Scotland. Evolutionary Anthropology, 27, 184-187. [PDF]

Finlay BL & Uchiyama R. (2017). The timing of brain maturation, early experience and the human social niche. In J. Kaas (Ed.), Evolution of Nervous Systems, 2nd Edition, Vol. 3, 123-148. San Diego: Elsevier Academic Press. [PDF]

Finlay BL & Uchiyama R. (2015). Developmental mechanisms channeling cortical evolution. Trends in Neurosciences, 38, 69–76. [PDF]


Uchiyama R, Spicer R, & Muthukrishna M. (under review). Cultural evolution of genetic heritability. [bioRxiv]

Pham TQ, Yoshimoto T, Niwa H, Takahashi H, Uchiyama R, Anderson AK, Sadato N, & Chikazoe J. (in preparation). Tracing the representational architecture of subjective valuation with fMRI-neural network correspondence mapping

Uchiyama R, Spicer R, & Muthukrishna M. (in preparation). Cultural tightness inflates genetic heritability: a cross-national analysis.

Conference presentations










Poster— Uchiyama R & Muthukrishna M. "The cultural evolution of cultural learning". Early-career Social Learning Researchers workshop (Lepizig, Germany)

Talk— Uchiyama R & Muthukrishna M. "General intelligence as an emergent product of cultural complexity: Explaining the Flynn Effect".

Cultural Evolution Society (Tempe, AZ, USA)

Poster— Uchiyama R & Muthukrishna M. "Testing the Cultural Brain Hypothesis using phylogenetic path analysis".

Early-career Social Learning Researchers workshop (St Andrews, Scotland, UK)

Talk— Uchiyama R & Muthukrishna M. "Testing the cultural brain hypothesis". Cultural Evolution Society inaugural conference (Jena, Germany)

Poster— Uchiyama R & Edelman S. "Narrative-mediated transmission of causal knowledge".

Emergent Meaning: Neural, Social, & Computational Perspectives (Bethlehem, PA), a workshop associated with Cognitive Science Society (Philadelphia, PA, US)

Poster— Uchiyama R & Finlay BL. "Situating social learning in an evolutionarily conserved program of brain development".

Mechanisms of Learning in Social Contexts, a workshop at ICDL-EPIROB (Providence, RI, US)










LSE PBS Deep Reading Seminar

Founder of a PhD student-centered seminar that invites prominent psychological researchers to discuss their recent work 

Cognitive and evolutionary approaches to human culture

Lead organizer and panel moderator of a cross-disciplinary symposium (March 12, 2015, at Cornell University) – http://cogevo.weebly.com/

Collective Behavior Study Group, Cornell University

Co-founder and organizer of an inter-departmental graduate student journal club and speaker series – http://collectivebehavior.weebly.com/

Teaching and outreach

Course Design

Co-designed with another graduate student the full syllabus for HD 6400–Emergent Collective Behavior, offered by the Department of Human Development, Cornell University (Spring 2014)

Teaching Assistantships

London School of Economics—

MSc Social and Public Communication (Martin Bauer & Bradley Franks, 2018–2020), Foundations of Psychological Science (Michael Muthukrishna, 2018–2019)
• Cornell University—

Developmental Psychology (Michael Goldstein, 2014)

Computational Psychology (Shimon Edelman, 2015)

Introduction to Biopsychology (Tim Devoogd, 2015)

Psychology of Language (Morten Christiansen, 2016)

Human Perception (David Field, 2016)

Neuroanatomy instruction

Managed brain dissection wet labs and neuroanatomy tutorials for PSYCH4250–Cognitive Neuroscience (Barbara Finlay), Cornell University, 2014–2015

Neuroscience outreach

2014–2016, Assistant Curator for the Wilder Brain Collection, Cornell University

         Sample coverage [ media ] [ youtube ] (Oct 7, 2016)

Invited talks




盐 (Yan) Talk, Human Psychology Seminar Series
(online talk for an audience in the People’s Republic of China)

Meiji University, School of Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences, Joe Wakano Lab (Japan)

LSESU Behavioural Sciences Society Annual Conference (London)

Translated and co-translated publications (non-academic)


  • The Album, BNN Publishing, 2005

  • Japanese Motion Graphic Creators [映像作家100人], BNN Publishing, 2006

  • Design Tide: A Message From Tokyo, BNN Publishing, 2006

  • GAS BOOK 24: Hideki Inaba "~NEWLINE", Gas as Interface, 2006

  • Logo a Lot, BNN Publishing, 2007

  • Japanese Motion Graphic Creators 2008, BNN Publishing, 2008

  • Think Globally, Act Locally. Think Locally, Act Globally., Bueno! Books, Tokyo, 2008

  • Japanese Motion Graphic Creators 2009, BNN Publishing, 2009

  • Printed Matter in Fashion, BNN Publishing, 2009 

  • The Front Line of Fashion: 100 Japanese Fashion Brands, BNN Publishing, 2009

  • Japanese Motion Graphic Creators 2010, BNN Publishing, 2010

  • Japanese Motion Graphic Creators 2011, BNN Publishing, 2011

  • Japanese Motion Graphic Creators 2012, BNN Publishing, 2012

  • Graphic Fashion, BNN Publishing, 2012

  • Japanese Motion Graphic Creators 2013, BNN Publishing, 2013

  • Poster Graphics, BNN Publishing, 2013

Print Periodicals 

  • SIM, issue 3, Asukashinsha Publishing, 2003

  • Massage, issues 3 & 4, skratch.jp, 2004 

  • SAL magazine, issues 10–12 & 14, Daiichi Kosho, 2003-2005

Online Periodicals

  • salmagazine.org, issues 1–11, 2004-2005




Untitled fractal sculpture, based on the golden ratio

Constructed with heat-reflective glass, mirrors, and paint-coated steel

121 × 75 × 46 cm


Drawing Exhibition

Drawing Exhibition

"The basal Mediterranean sport" at Schildpatt Gallery, Sengawa, Tokyo, May 20 & 21, 2017

Drawing Exhibition

Drawing Exhibition

"The basal Mediterranean sport" at Schildpatt Gallery, Sengawa, Tokyo, May 20 & 21, 2017

Drawings, 2007 onward