Neuropsychological studies on the development of learning abilities and on learning disabilities
This research group focuses on the processes of acquiring reading, writing, arithmetic and other basic learning abilities, as well as on the mechanisms behind learning disabilities, using cognitive-psychological tests and functional brain imaging. The group aims to conduct two-way research in which research findings are practically applied to educational practices and therapeutic intervention in addition to neuropsychological examination of learning processes and learning disabilities (using cognitive-psychological tests and functional brain imaging).
Associate Professor SEKI, Ayumi
Biologically, learning is defined as a process in which the brain adapts to stimuli in the environment and builds its own information processing neural networks. Despite extensive cognitive-psychological and neuroscientific research on brain function that supports learning, research findings are yet to be fully utilized in education. This research group conducts two-way researches by performing neuropsychological studies on learning processes and learning disabilities while also aiming to utilize the knowledge gained from these studies for educational practices and therapeutic intervention.
The research group uses cognitive-psychological tests and functional brain imaging, such as functional MRI. Since investigation of the mechanisms behind learning disabilities requires an understanding of typical cognitive development, the group examines children with typical and atypical development from a developmental perspective. It also therapeutically intervenes with children who have learning disabilities in collaboration with the university’s Research and Clinical Center for Child Development and conducts cognitive-psychological and neuropsychological assessment and examination of changes following such interventions.
Examples of the group’s research subjects include:
1. Basic studies on learning (e.g., motivation for learning, implicit learning, working memory)
2. Studies on basic cognitive abilities related to reading skills and their developmental change
3. Studies on basic cognitive abilities related to arithmetic skills and their developmental change
4. Brain function involved in acquisition of a second languages
5. Studies on mechanisms behind cognitive impairment/cerebral dysfunction in children with learning disabilities
6. Studies on intervention in children who have learning disabilities and post-intervention changes in brain function
7. Studies on genes that influence cerebral lateralization in Japanese children with developmental dyslexia