Society’s expectations of graduate education have diversified in recent years. In order to provide quality education, we are still expected to nurture university professors and researchers; however, we are now also expected to foster personnel with the high level of expertise required to function in various aspects of an advanced information-oriented society. In addition, these people must be able to play a leadership role in the field, e.g., in organizations and communities. Responding quickly to these current social demands, the Department of Kansei, Behavioral, and Brain Sciences reorganized its program in 2008 and adopted a segmented system to replace the 5-year integrated programs we used since 2001, when the department was established. The Master’s program in Kansei, Behavioral, and Brain Sciences constitutes the first 2 years of graduate study. The curriculum is newly designed to realize the educational philosophy of nurturing a wide variety of personnel. With the aim of training professionals with a high level of expertise, the program contents have been improved and enhanced; hence, after earning their degrees, students’ transition to the job market has been improved. To ensure a high level of education, we created a new structure to accommodate various educational needs by introducing a new research guidance system in which both professors and associate professors can provide research guidance.
Kansei, Behavioral, and Brain Sciences aims to probe the human mind, including kansei, which is difficult to explore within the existing academic framework. Therefore, faculty members, specialized in different areas, including Arts, Psychology, Disability Sciences, Neuroscience, and Medicine, get together and conduct interdisciplinary academic research aimed at obtaining insight into human nature. Through this research, we aim to train highly specialized and expert professionals who will be active on the national and international stage. Classes in the Master’s program embody many insights and educational methodologies derived from the experiences of students and teachers in the program “International Program for New Frontiers in ‘Mind and Brain’ Science,” which was selected in 2006 as the Graduate Education Good Plan: Initiatives for Attractive Education in Graduate Schools. The framework of the Master’s program is broad, and can be categorized into three specialized domains: Kansei Science, Behavioral Science, and Neuroscience. I believe that all of our graduate students will come into contact with the cross-sectional educational content in all of these domains and learn how to see and understand kansei and kokoro (mind) in a way that they could never experience at other institutions. I hope all of our students practice the mindset and methodology that they learn in this program and, in the near future, become researchers or persons with a major presence in various fields in the real world.
Kansei Science is devoted to the study of kansei, a tacit process in humans that is usually activated by experiencing artifacts or systems.
Mental and brain functions can be elucidated by analyzing various behaviors in animals, including humans.
Functions of the brain are based on the integration of neural networks, which are composed of neurons as basic elements.