Theme 2: Research on Proactive Support for Inclusive Society

Project Leader: TSUCHIDA, Noriaki (College of Comprehensive Psychology Professor )span: 2013/04 - 2016/03

We are systematically examining the question of what is the most physically/socially/informationally/institutionally effective setup/support to allow people in various circumstances to be positioned as legitimate participants in social activities.

Two specific themes have been taken up: 1) Elderly people (handicapped people) support research and 2) high-level cognition research.

1) In our elderly people (handicapped people) support research we mainly target the prevention of senile depression and the dementia that manifests more often in old age. As our population ages, increasing attention has been focused on the issue of preventing dementia and senile depression. Prevention of dementia and senile depression encompasses various types of initiatives, and one approach that has been taken is the “preservation of sociality”. Vygotsky said that “high-level mental function is formed within sociality”. “Preservation of sociality” has the potential to be a key phrase when it comes to senile depression and dementia, which are disabilities affecting high-level mental function. We are using the university, a local resource, to systematically analyze what sorts of structures and functions are needed in a “place” where participants can receive reciprocal social valuation. In addition, on the basis of EBP we are also engaging in practical initiatives with the support of people with disabilities in mind.

2) In our high-level cognition research we are engaged in fundamental research concerning the high-level mental functions that tend to decline as we age. In concrete terms we plan to conduct our analysis from as many angles as possible, including topics such as memory, perception, thought, emotion, and clinical methodology.

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