The main purpose of graduate education is to foster university teachers and researchers, and this goal has been assigned top priority for many years. Constant effort has been devoted to ensure the highest level of professional educational research, and the result is a country with the strong social foundation and vigorous development that we see today. Even so, with the recent dramatic advances in technical innovations, modern society is becoming highly information-based, and changes in social needs are prompting a reform of graduate education. Having said that, I think the core mission of graduate education is still to foster researchers and educators. Indeed, this mission has become even more important at the present moment, because we need personnel that have the vision to lead people through complex modern society in the days to come.
The Department of Kansei, Behavioral, and Brain Sciences was launched as an integrated 5-year doctoral program in 2001. Since then, our faculty members have investigated the human mind, including kansei. Because research on the core of human beings is virtually impossible to achieve within the traditional vertically structured academic framework, we adopted a revolutionary interdisciplinary structure and promote interdisciplinary educational research by faculty members from different research areas, including Arts, Psychology, Disability Science, and Medicine. In 2003, our program “Promotion of Kansei Science for Understanding the Mechanism of Mind and Heart” was selected as a 21st century COE Program. We have been playing a leading role as one of the organizations that practices the educational content of graduate study defined by the Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences.
Against this historical background, we reorganized the system and transformed our curriculum into two segments in 2008, when we launched the new Doctoral program in Kansei, Behavioral, and Brain Science. The program constitutes the last 3 years of the segmented program, and is characterized as an educational system specialized for fostering researchers and educators. The Doctoral program carries on the educational philosophy that was developed through the COE program, and also inherits the benefits of the former integrated 5-year system. The educational curriculum has been enriched in order to empower internationalism and cultivate the students’ qualities as researchers and educators who can play an active role both nationally and internationally.
The Doctoral program has eight research areas. Based on the broad range of cross-disciplinary knowledge and methodology learned in the Master’s program, students will deepen their expertise while receiving thesis research guidance on various complex issues related to human beings. Unlike the previous integrated program, under the new system associate professors can also provide research guidance, so that various needs of research and education can be addressed. I hope all students who have received education in the Doctoral program acquire high-level communication skills, are trusted anywhere in the world, and become international researchers who actively promote research on kansei and kokoro (mind) from a panoramic perspective.
In this field, students will study fundamentals and applications of research on kansei, a tacit process of humans that is usually activated by interacting with other humans, artifacts, the environment, or design processes.
This division, which is coordinates with the Neuroscience Research Institute (AIST, Tsukuba), is working toward understanding the molecular biological, psychological, physiological, and anatomical aspects of cognitive brain function, including cognition, behavior, and learning.