Hokkaido University Faculty of Education/Graduate School

Staff Profile



Please replace * to @.


Special Education,
Clinical Psychology of Education

Undergraduate School Affiliation

Psychology of Education

Graduate School Affiliation

Clinical Psychology


Some children and adults feel uneasy about the differences that exist between themselves and the majority. Why not join me in considering how support can be provided to them from the perspective of cognitive psychology and clinical psychology? When people like this feel it is truly difficult to live with these differences, their difficulties may be referred to as “disabilities.” However, a closer look into their existence and provision of the support they truly need will bring our connection with such individuals into sight. I believe their differences represent human diversity.

Areas of Expertise

Cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, special needs education

Research Subjects

  1. Cognitive psychological research on cognitive characteristics of individuals with ASD in interpersonal exchanges
  2. Psychological and educational clinical support for adults and children with intellectual/developmental disabilities
  3. Establishment of a community support system for adults and children with intellectual/developmental disabilities
    (Note: The term ASD refers to Autism Spectrum Disorders.)

Research Keywords

  1. Cognitive characteristics of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
  2. Evaluation of emotional and behavioral problems and related support
  3. Interprofessional support and collaboration tool

Research Overview

Some people have characteristics that differ from those of the majority. In my research and its practical application, I focus on how to narrow these differences rather than simply clarifying them.

○Research on cognitive characteristics of individuals with ASD
I am engaged in research on cognitive characteristics of individuals with ASD in interpersonal exchanges. I analyze and examine such characteristics using an experimental paradigm in cognitive psychology based on their eye movements, which are recorded by an eye tracker during tasks, as well as their response times and percentages of correct answers. My research findings are as follows. (1) Tasks to recognize facial and vocal emotional expressions revealed fewer differences in task performance and gaze behavior between a group of individuals with ASD and the control group as the complexity of tasks decreased. (2) Tasks to perceive interpersonal synchrony between two individuals in conversation revealed no significant differences in the percentage of correct answers between the ASD group and the control group, although the former took more time to perform the tasks. (3) Smooth performance of alternate hand-clapping correlates with levels of perceived interpersonal synchrony. Based on these research findings, I am currently studying the impact of the degree of ASD characteristics and environmental factors involved in task performance on the quality of interpersonal exchanges.

○ Research on clinical support for children with intellectual/developmental disabilities (and related clinical practices)
I have provided support to children with intellectual/developmental disabilities who are having difficulties in kindergartens, schools, communities and other social environments. My published articles and presentations given at conferences include those on: (1) research in which preschool children with ASD were assisted to adapt to social situations they found difficult to understand by facilitating their understanding with the help of picture books and other media; (2) research in which a preschool child with problematic behavior at home were assisted to change his behavior by showing his mother how to deal with such behavior using the approaches of Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication-handicapped CHildren (TEACCH) and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in a mutually complementary manner while providing the mother respite care; (3) research in which elementary school children with both Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and reading difficulties were assisted to improve their reading by alternately using reading materials with slashes between phrases and those without, and also a change in the children’s gaze behavior during reading indicated an increase in the amount of information processed per eye fixation. The practical support I have provided includes cases in which: (1) I worked to develop a positive self-perception of ASD in a group of high school students diagnosed with ASD by encouraging them to clarify the positive aspects and concerns about themselves and other group members as well as the characteristics common to all of them and to individuals with ASD through therapist intervention; and (2) I assisted a child with serious behavioral problems at school to adapt to the environment by having him externalize the cause of the problems and encouraging him and his teachers to work closely to deal with the cause, which transformed the confrontational relationship between them into a collaborative one.

○ Research on and practice of interprofessional support and collaboration in communities
Since children with intellectual/developmental disabilities may experience difficulties throughout their lives, it is necessary for their families and supporters in various professions to establish a collaborative system from both diachronic and synchronic perspectives. To this end, I believe “support files” (e.g., child-rearing support files and life support files) are a useful tool. These files are intended to keep records of the growth of individual children after birth (or from before birth) and are used whenever they need support. When I was at the Hokkaido University of Education’s Asahikawa Campus (before coming to Hokkaido University), I developed such files to support the growth of children regardless of whether or not they had disabilities, and introduced them in Asahikawa and elsewhere in the Kamikawa region. These files have been used in day-care centers and day-service facilities (for adaptive training of children with disabilities) in Asahikawa and many other municipalities (with their own arrangements) in Kamikawa subprefecture. I have published several articles and essays about these support files, outlining examples of their uses and results of questionnaires to evaluate their uses. I developed these support files for children with and without disabilities because I realized the need to support the development of children with intellectual/developmental disabilities through child development support that is provided as a part of child-rearing assistance due to lack of understanding of the difficulties facing children with disabilities and the parents who raise them.