Comparative and Developmental Psychology
Exploring the development and origin of the mind’s mechanisms
■ Developmental psychology research on infancy and childhood
■ Disability (such as autism) and the development of the mother-child relationship, peer relationships, and communication
In order for us to firmly understand human behavior, we need to adopt a perspective that encompasses not only the behavioral development process from the prenatal period to adulthood (ontogeny), but also the evolutionary process of behaviors from the protozoa to the human (phylogeny). Comparative and Developmental Psychology is a research field that uses methodologies of developmental psychology and ethology and explores human psychology, behavior and body, and the interrelationships between them. The target of the research ranges from human infancy to childhood.
Some of the research topics include: maternal attachment and child development; playing, fighting, and sympathy and peer relationships; theories of joint attention and mind; non-verbal and verbal communication development; and the psychology of developmental disorders such as autism and ADHD.
Our research sites include certified preschools, women’s and children’s hospitals, child development support centers, and so on. We also occasionally visit households to observe infant behavior. The play room in the lab is used to observe typically developing children and provide individual rehabilitation and developmental consultations for autistic children to test the development of more effective developmental support techniques and the impact of interventions. Thus, this research field spans across broad research subjects and attracts diverse faculty and students who are interested in these research problems. We host regular seminars/research meetings every week where participants actively take part in discussion in preparation for research papers and conference presentations.