Division of Physical and Health Education

Course Description

What is physical and health education…?

Physical and health education focuses on diverse phenomena related to the “body and mind” that exist in schools, families, and society. The focus is on education and research from a broad – basic,
integrative, and practical – standpoint. The aim is to cultivate sound views of the body, development, and sports, and to foster an awareness and ability to proactively face and take actions to the goal of “nurturing the body and mind” in oneself and in society.

Established in April 1998, the Division of Physical and Health Education is the first of its kind in Japan focusing on “education about the body and health.” Our education principles can be summed up as follows:
– Understand the nature of the body
– See the significance of the body, health, and life
– Appreciate the fun and joy of physical activities

This course consists of four research fields: “Educational Physiology,” “Developmental Brain Sciences,” “Health Education,” and “Physical Education,” and is concerned with elucidating the basic mechanisms and functioning of the human body, mind, and brain and their development. We are also working on a wide range of contemporary and advanced problems related to the promotion of physical and mental health and their educational applications. Our research involves the data analysis and modeling of biomedical and health-related information using wearable devices and IoT systems; analysis and dynamical modeling of functional brain imaging and behavioral generation in the developmental process; investigation of genetic and environmental factors that might affect physical and mental development; analysis and modeling of motor learning mechanisms using motion analysis, brain stimulation, robot arms, etc.; behavioral measurement and field research focusing on the elationship between lifestyle and health problems; and computational modeling and analysis of behavioral, physiological, and brain functional imaging data aimed to elucidate the neural and bodily mechanisms of learning and emotion.

Staff

Yoshiharu YAMAMOTO

Professor (Educational Physiology)

The data analysis of biomedical and health-related information is my specialty. In a research side, focusing mainly on health-related data in daily settings, I investigate methods for the data collection, data analysis, interpretation of the results, and the use of information obtained for health risk evaluation and disease prevention. In addition to the development of new methodology for signal processing, modelling, and statistical analysis, of the standard physiological measurements, recently I also focus on a broader health-related data including behavioral and social ones. In an education side, I aim at teaching students with diverse interests and concerns so that they acquire specialized and integrated analytic skills required in the era of information and communication technology.

Tsukasa SASAKI

Professor (Health Education)

A major focus of my study is to investigate and elucidate genetic and environmental factors that might affect physical and mental development in children and adolescents. Biological and psychological factors play a significant role in such development, which I would like all students in the research areas of education to understand well when they conduct their studies. Specific studies include the effects of the sleep-wake rhythm in 24-hour society, genome variations and environmental factors, especially during the embryonic stage, on growth, development, mental health and disorders. Other studies are on the effects of lifestyles and environmental factors on students’ and teachers’ mental health in high schools and universities. Longitudinal comparisons of co-twins in their physical and mental development are also a focus of these studies.

Gentaro TAGA

Professor (Developmental Brain Sciences)

I explore the principle of how locomotion, perception and cognition of man are generated through dynamic interaction between the brain, body and the environment. In particular, I focus on the developmental process of newborns and infants and hope to shed light on nativism; rule of the development of complex systems; adaptability to the environment; voluntary information-generating mechanism. I also work on behavior measure; psychological experiments; imaging of the brain; nonlinear dynamics modeling and computer simulation.

Daichi NOZAKI

Professor (Physical Education)

The neural and musculoskeletal systems that support bodily motions have extremely redundant characteristics. For instance, the motion of flexing and extending a single joint involves an enormous number of neurons of the brain and spinal cord and a large number of muscles. Through such methods as motion analysis, (evoked) electromyogram, brain waves, magnetic stimulation of the brain, fMRI and motor learning paradigm using the robot arm, I hope to clarify how sophisticated movements are performed and acquired based
on this redundancy.

Fumiharu TOGO

Associate Professor (Educational Physiology)

Modern 24-hour society has changed many aspects of our behaviors such as sleep, diet, and physical activity. My work focuses on how changes in amount, quality, and timing of these life-related activities predict future physical and mental functions and illnesses, which will increase in diversity in various physical and social environments, in adolescents, workers, and the elderly. To gain insight into how this might happen, I examine biological and questionnaire data obtained by laboratory, ecological, and epidemiological approaches.

Kenji MORITA

Associate Professor (Physical Education)

How we can learn from successes and failures, and how we can motivate ourselves to learn, are both fundamental issues in learning physical skills used in sports or music performance, as well as in every kind of learning. Also, whether a thrilling event induces pleasure or fear, or whether a complicated quiz excites or annoys someone, depends on one’s past experience, physical and mental state, and personality. I am studying neural and bodily mechanisms of learning and emotion underlying these phenomena through computational modeling and analysis based on biological knowledge and behavioral/physiological approaches.

Akifumi KISHI

Associate Professor (Physical Education)

My research aims to elucidate the mechanism and function of sleep in humans. Sleep is, by nature, not a static but a dynamic phenomenon, resulting from complex interactions among neuronal populations in the brain. My current research involves the analysis, assessment, modeling, and control of the dynamics of sleep stage transitions in humans; this work aims to provide novel insights into not only the basic mechanism of human sleep regulation, but also pathophysiological aspects of sleep regulation. More broadly, I am interested in human physiology, particularly in the mechanisms of dynamic control, as well as the interaction between physiological systems that allow for homeostasis and homeodynamics in humans.