Wataru Toyokawa, PhD

Research Scientist

University of Konstanz

E-mail: wataru.toyokawa[at]uni-konstanz.de

Twitter: @WataruToyokawa Google Scholar: [link] ResearchGate: [link] Publons:[link] GitHub:[link] Full CV: [pdf]

Research interests:

His research focuses on the computational underpinnings and eco-evolutionary implications of human social learning and their relationships with group decision-making and collective behaviour. Using computational modelling and Bayesian statistical methods, coupled with online realtime behavioural experimentation, he is quantitatively approaching human social behaviour and group dynamics. He also uses mathematical models to study population dynamics and evolutionary games.


He obtained his PhD and MSc in Behavioural Science (2015 and 2012), and a BSc in Fisheries Science (2010) from Hokkaido University, Hakodate, Japan. He moved to the University of St Andrews, Scotland as the JSPS Overseas Research Fellow (2015-2017). Then He obtained a JSPS Research Fellowship (PD; 2017-2019) jointly working at both the University of St Andrews and the Graduate University of Advanced Studies (a.k.a. 'SOKENDAI'), Hayama, Japan. From 2019, he has been a research scientist collaborating with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Gaissmaier at the University of Konstanz, Germany.

Selected Publications

Collective intelligence versus inflexible herding can be predicted on the basis of the task and the social learning strategies used.

Toyokawa W, Whalen A and Laland KN. (2019). Social learning strategies regulate the wisdom and madness of interactive crowds. Nature Human Behaviour 3(2):183-193. (doi: 10.1038/s41562-018-0518-x)

Sharing 5-star ratings weakened human collective intelligence in a gambling task

Toyokawa W, Kim H and Kameda T. (2014). Human collective intelligence under dual exploration-exploitation dilemmas. PLoS ONE 9(4): e95789. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095789)

Asocial explorative tendency did not correlated with social information use in humans

Toyokawa W, Saito Y and Kameda T. (2017). Individual differences in learning behaviours in humans: Asocial exploration tendency does not predict reliance on social learning. Evolution and Human Behavior, 38 (3): 325-333. (doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2016.11.001)

Social foraging by predator can stabilise a potentially fluctuating biological community

Toyokawa W. (2017). Scrounging by foragers can resolve the paradox of enrichment. Royal Society Open Science, 4: 160830. (doi:10.1098/rsos.160830)


Research skills:

  • Behavioural/cognitive lab experimentation (z-Tree, PsychoPy)

  • Real-time interacting online experiment (Amazon's Mechanical Turk, PHP, Python, JavaScript and node.js)

  • Computational modelling and hierarchical Bayesian data analysis (R and Stan/JAGS)

  • Mathematical analysis (e.g., population dynamics; evolutionary game)


  • 2019 - present: Experimental Practical Course (Online behavioural experiment on decision making and social influences) [code]

  • 2019 - present: Data handling and visualisation in R

  • 2019 - present: Seminar on Social Learning, Collective Behaviour, and Cultural Evolution

  • 2019 - present: Seminar on Motivation and Emotion

  • 2021: Guest lecturer at CHAIN Winter School [material]

Honors and Grants:

  1. Ausschuss für Forschungsfragen (AFF)H, University of Konstanz, "uman swarm intelligence in risky decision-making:

  2. " 2019 (€5,000)JPSP KAKENHI grant-in-aid for JSPS postdoctoral fellows 17J01559 (GBP £28,100/JPY ¥4,090,000), 2017 - 2019

  3. Suntory Foundation Research Support April 2016 - March 2017 (¥1,000,000)

  4. EHBEA student travel award - April 2014 (£100)

  5. Young Researcher's Presentation Award, 6th conference of Human Behavior & Evolution Society Japan, 2013

  6. Incentive Award, Hokkaido Psychological Society, 2013

  7. Young Researcher's Presentation Award, 5th conference of Human Behavior & Evolution Society Japan, 2012

  8. The Best-Poster Award, 31st conference of Japan Ethological Society, 2012

  9. Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for Young Scientists, 2012-2014 (¥3,000,000)

  10. Exemption from repayment, JASSO's scholarship loan, 2010-2011


  • 2015 PhD Behavioural Science, Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaido University, Japan

  • 2012 M.Sc. Behavioural Science, Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaido University, Japan

  • 2010 B.Sc. Fisheries Science, School of Fisheries Science, Hokkaido University, Japan

Professional Position:

  • March 2019 - Present: Research Scientist at the University of Konstanz, Germany.

  • April 2017 - March 2019: JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow (University of St Andrews, UK; SOKENDAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies), Japan)

  • April 2015 - March 2017: JSPS Overseas Research Fellow (with Professor Kevin N. Laland lab, University of St Andrews)

  • April 2012 - March 2015: Doctoral Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (DC1)

Peer Reviewing Experiences:

  • Nature Human Behaviour

  • Journal of Theoretical Biology

  • Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications

  • Current Zoology

  • Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics

  • New Ideas in Psychology

  • PLoS ONE

  • Royal Society Open Science

  • Scientific Reports

  • Palgrave Communications

  • Human-Agent Interaction