Where the natural and social sciences meet: Understanding people through the study of human and animal behavior
Humans have both the ability to adapt as organisms, as acquired through a long evolutionary process, and the ability to learn, acquired during our growth and development after birth. These two abilities are inseparable and deeply intertwined. The Course in Behavioral Sciences focuses on the biological properties of humans to uncover the mechanisms underlying human behavioral characteristics and phenomena.
The Course in Behavioral Sciences has five distinctive research tracks:
- The Comparative and Developmental Psychology research track examines the psychology and behavior during the various stages of human development that occur from infancy to adolescence/young adulthood to understand accelerated development, mind-body interactions, interpersonal relations, and communication development and disability based on a perspective that emphasizes the biological foundation of behavior.
- The Behavioral Physiology research track uses animal and human “eating” behavior as a starting point to conduct neuroscientific research and investigate higher brain functions.
- The Behavioral Statistics research track studies and develops operation algorithms to design mathematical models and statistical analysis that form the foundation of statistical analysis methodologies to statistically investigate the latent structures inherent in behavioral data.
- The Biological Anthropology research track studies the unique characteristics of human adaptation by examining the relationship between morphology and behavior and conducts functional-morphological research on the mechanisms of motion and motion control in humans and primates.
- The Ethology research track aims to reveal the evolution of behaviors leading to humans by describing different animals’ ways of life through the observation of the behavior of wild Japanese macaque and zoo animals.
The five research tracks of the Course in Behavioral Sciences target human and animal subjects and investigate their behavior by using diverse methods including micro-level studies using a laboratory microscope, the observation of wild animal and human behavior, the excavation of early human fossil remains, and computer-assisted simulations.
By maintaining a broad perspective incorporating all organisms, the Course in Behavioral Sciences engages in research topics ranging from basic research themes to cutting-edge topics and our faculty and students continue to work together on experiments, surveys, observations and the analysis of collected data to disseminate new knowledge. This course is the intellectual center from which we disseminate our cutting-edge research findings to the world.
Please note that the Course in Behavioral Sciences works together with the Course in Psychological Sciences in our education and research activities as part of the Psychology Program.