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October 21, 2021 Professor Kaoru Sekiyama gave an invited talk at the "New Elderly Society" Health Course in Osaka.
"About lifestyles that maintain and improve the cognitive function of the senior generation ".
September 16, 2021 Professor Sekiyama Kaoru participated in the panel discussion "How the latest technology contributes to the promotion of SDGs and the happiness of people" at the Nikkei BP SDGs Festival Digital Sustainability Conference. (Online delivery from Marunouchi Building Hall)
Panel discussion
September, 2021 At the 85th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Psychological Association, Professor Kaoru Sekiyama planned and moderated a small lecture for Mr. Xia Guo who Professor Kaoru Sekiyama instructed from Kumamoto University. "Musical instrument performance training and cognitive plasticity" (online)
June 20, 2021 Professor Kaoru Sekiyama took the stage as chairman of the public symposium "Corona Sorrow and Mental Health / Education / Health Care" sponsored by the Science Council of Japan / Brain and Mind Subcommittee.(Online)
External link
June 18, 2021 Professor Kaoru Sekiyama gave an invited talk at the Music Symposium. "Two Story of Perception and Cognitive Research on Sound: From Audiovisual Speech Perception Research to Research on Brain Activation by Musical Instrument Training" (Online)
From May to August, 2021 A research paper on gaze measurement (accepted in March 2021), which investigated where Japanese infants look on the face of a face-to-face speaker, was introduced in the media.
Asahi Shimbun, Science Japan
April 1st, 2021 Professor Kaoru Sekiyama has appointed the dean of the Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability, Kyoto University.
March 30, 2021 A research paper on changes in brain structure due to exercise intervention in the elderly has been accepted by Cerebral Cortex. Motor intervention has been shown to improve general cognitive function, increase cortical volume in several parts of the prefrontal cortex, and reduce hippocampal age-related atrophy. (Joint research by the Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability Kyoto University, Umeå University in Sweden, University of Tsukuba, Kokoro Research Center Kyoto University, etc.)
March 24, 2021 Cortex has accepted a paper on developmental research by gaze measurement that examines where Japanese infants look on the face of a face-to-face speaker. This is a co-authored paper with Satoko Hisanaga , a graduate student from Kumamoto University, and Ayako Mugiya, an associate professor at Japan Women's University.
From January to February, 2021 The results of musical instrument intervention research for the elderly (accepted in November 2020, published in December) were introduced in the media.
Asahi Shimbun、 Yahoo news、 Kyoto Shimbun
November 16, 2020 Our team’s aging study paper accepted for publication in Human Brain Mapping. Following musical instrument training intervention with keyboard harmonica, novice older adults improved verbal memory and neural efficiency. (Xia Guo, Masatoshi Yamashita, et al.)
June 5, 2020 The Faculty Column on the GSAIS homepage published a message from Professor Sekiyama Kaoru and her recent photos. Link
May, 2020 Shioyama Satsuki (4th year student in GSAIS)’s paper has been accepted for publication in Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review. This is her master’s thesis research on work education in Indian secondary education.
February 14, 2020 Co-chair in Science Council of Japan Academic Forum “Dementia: Academic Approaches to Prevention and Coexistence” (Tokyo).
January 1, 2020 Sekiyama pubilshed a review paper outlining her own research on interlanguage differences (between native speakers of Japanese and English) in audiovisual speech perceptoin in the journal Acoustical Science and Technology.
December 12, 2019 Participants (a first half) of Yao Pianica Project presented their perfomance at Machinami center, Yao, Osaka.
November 24, 2019 Presentation of the results of our scientific research (Funded by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research "Lifestyle and Brain Function: Inquiry in Psychological Science into Successful Aging") at Kyoto University Inamori Foundation Memorial Hall.
November 9, 2019 A panelist in Science Council of Japan public symposium “Sports and Brain Science”.
September 30, 2019 Sekiyama and Suzuki published an article in Japanese Journal of Psychonomic Science on methodological considerations in the study of aging.
September 14, 2019 Sekiyama, Kotegawa, and other collaborators published an article in Japanese Journal of Cognitive Psychology on motor imagery ability of the elderly people.
September 12, 2019 Organized a symposium on “Lifestyle and brain function” at the 83rd annual meeting of the Japanese Psychological Association, Ritsumeikan University – Osaka Ibaraki Campus
September 1, 2019 Sekiyama, Teramoto, and other collaborators published a paper in Experimental Brain Research. This research found that reading difficulties caused by presbyopia is more significant in foreign language than in native language.
August 22,2019 Briefing session for research commissioned by Osaka Prefecture (Yao Citty Hall and Yaoshi Machinami Center). We tried to recruit participants to our “Yao Pianica Projcet” in which they practice playing a keyboard harmonica to attain rejuvenation of their brain.
February 10, 2019 General lecture (in a symposium on Wisdom for happy living in middle and old ages) at Kyoto Learning Center, the Open University of Japan
December 22, 2018 Invited talk (title: Neuroprotection and physical/motor practice in healthy aging) at ISMRM-JPC annual meeting, Nagoya University
November 6, 2018 Dr. Maki Suzuki (Project-appointed Lecturer at Osaka University, our colleague for KAKENHI projects) published an article in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. This article reports enhanced over-activation of the brain with advanced aging.
September 27, 2018 Organized a symposium on “Lifestyle and brain function” at the 82nd annual meeting of the Japanese Psychological Association, Sendai International Center
September 5, 2018 Invited talk (title: Useful leisure activities for rejuvenation by 10 years) at Osaka Prefectural Office
March 20, 2018 Invited talk (title: lifestyle that extends healthy life expectancy) at Doshisha Neesima Kaikan
January 10, 2018 Seminar (invited speaker: Professor Lars Nyberg, Departments of Radiation Sciences & Integrative Medical Biology in Umeå University) at Higashiichijokan
Title: "Challenges of Neuroscience in the era of global super-aging"
See https://www.gsais.kyoto-u.ac.jp/blog/2018/01/10/20180109-2(in Japanese)
January 6, 2018 Xia Guo (2-year master course student at Kumamoto University) published an article in Frontiers in Psychology. This article reports the effect of short-term instrumental training on working memory in 6-8 year-old children.


“Investigate the plasticity of cognitive functions”

  • image_Plasticity of embodied spatial cognition

    Plasticity of embodied spatial cognition

    When body image does not work well because of reversing prism spectacles, how do people adapt themselves to that situation? For more detail

  • image_Language-specific speech perception

    Language-specific speech perception

    Listening to speech is based on the auditory information processing, and this processing is specific to people’s own native language. Does listening to speech while watching speaker’s face is also influenced by their own native language? For more detail

  • image_Development and plasticity of cognitive functions in children

    Development and plasticity of cognitive functions in children

    How do “embodied spatial cognition” and “language-specific speech perception” develop in children? For more detail

  • imagr_Maintenance of cognitive functions in elderly people

    Maintenance of cognitive functions in elderly people

    Recently, a lot of research have suggested that physical activity is beneficial to prevention of dementia. However, what aspect of the activity has such benefit? For more detail

Principle investigater

Kaoru Sekiyama

Kaoru Sekiyama

Professor, Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability, Kyoto University
Research areas: psychology, cognitive neuroscience, life-span development
e-mail :

I have studied plasticity of the human cognitive system. From my studies investigating how people adapt to reversed visual field over a long period, I have been amazed by human remarkable ability to adapt to such a radical environmental change. I have also noticed negative consequences of disuse of the brain. In addition, many of my studies have suggested that different native languages will create different neural systems in the brain especially for speech processing. In recent years, I have been engaged in transdisciplinary research examining what types of lifestyle or intervention have anti-aging effects on the brain. As Japan is the most advanced aged society in the world, our research finding will contribute to what are needed in the future globe. Would you join us and investigate this problem together?

Educational background

June 1995 phD
March, 1986 Psychology Major, Graduate School of Literature and Human Sciences, Osaka City University, Doctor Course Completed
March, 1980 Educational Psychology Major, School of Education, Waseda University
March, 1976 Senior High School attached to Ochanomizu University

Professional Experience

May 2017 - now Professor, Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability, Kyoto University
October 2006 – April 2017 Professor, Faculty of Letters, Kumamoto University
April 2000 –September 2006 Professor, School of Systems Information Science, Future University Hakodate
(June 1993 – December 1994) Visiting Researcher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
May 1989 – March 2000 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Letters, Kanazawa University

Affiliated academic organizations

  • The Japanese Psychological Association
  • The Japanese Society for Cognitive Psychology
  • The Acoustical Society of Japan
  • Japanese Cognitive Science Society
  • The Japanese Society of Baby Science
  • Japan Human Brain Mapping Society
  • Japanese Association of Clinical Geropsychology
  • Society for Neuroscience(SfN)
  • American Psychological Associsation (APA)
  • Association for Psychological Science (APS)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS)
  • Acoustical Society of America (ASA)