Mai Sakai, Ph.D.


Tokai University Institute of Innovative Science and Technology, Research Fellow of the JSPS
Specialties: Ethology, Cognition
Interests: Social touch and synchrony, underwater behavior, social cognition in dolphins

My research focus is on cetacean behavior and sociality. Cetaceans, especially odontocetes, have attracted research interest due to their large brains, highly sophisticated cognitive abilities, and diverse social structures. However, odontocetes live in a relatively inhospitable environment compared to terrestrial species, making them harder to study than most species. Consequently, there are still many things we do not know about odontocete social behavior. I have studied the social behavior of cetaceans via ethological methods for approximately 14 years. I have conducted behavioral observation of wild dolphins, bio-logging methods and behavioral observation of captive dolphins. My interests are social touch, synchronous swimming in dolphins. I will introduce new techniques to my future research for understanding brain function, endocrine mechanisms, and hydrodynamic effects of odontocete social behavior.


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