Tuesday, 18. October 2011 - 8:00


If you were selected to swim 2.4 miles (3.9kms), cycle 112 miles (180kms), and run 26.2 miles (42.2kms) altogether, would you be ready for the challenge? Well, Dr. Kenji Doya, Principal Investigator at OIST’s Neural Computation Unit, would be!

Dr. Doya crosses the finish line.

Dr. Doya was selected to participate in the 2011 Ironman World Championship that took place in Hawaii on October 9. He was in the 50-54 year old category and his performance was a stark improvement to his previous Hawaii challenge in 2006.  Dr. Doya says that “It was a tough race but I was extremely delighted to finish the course nine minutes faster than I did in my last race.”

In a race as heart-thumping and sweat dripping as this, the mental-motivation and physical ability to actually complete the race holds just as much prestige as actually winning the race. The Ironman championship is globally considered as one of the most extreme races.

This is the second major achievement of this year for Dr. Doya, who was awarded a five-year, multi-site research grant on “Prediction and Decision Making” as the project leader. Dr. Doya enjoys delving deeper into the interdisciplinary research on neurobiology and robotics on the decision making and emotion-like functions in health and disease.

If there is one myth that Dr. Doya’s athletic ability bursts, it’s that; science is not the only thing scientists can do! Congratulations Dr. Doya!

By Juliette Mutheu

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