Japanese instrument company is out to raise $80 million so 100 world-class scientists can explore the mind

TOKYO—This time the Japanese—at least, some of them— aren’t going it alone. Sensitive to criticism that the country is unwilling to share its knowledge with the rest of the world, the president of a leading Japanese manufacturer of optical instruments is trying to promote an international institute to explore how the brain functions.

The driving force behind the proposed Mind/Brain Imaging Institute is Teruo Hiruma, head of Hamamatsu Photonics K.K., a world leader in high-precision devices used in positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, mag- netic brain recording, and laser tomography. In May, company officials invited 20 scientists and engineers from the United States, the Soviet Union, and Japan to discuss the proposal at corporate research ‘facilities in Hamamatsu City, about 150 miles south of Tokyo. But high-quality research isn’t their only goal: company...

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