KAWAHARA Jun-ichiro


KAWAHARA Jun-ichiro Professor
Research Subject

Attention and memory mechanisms underlying human behavior. Internal and external factors (such as fatigue and stress) modulating cognitive functions.

Research Fields
Cognitive Psychology (attention, memory, perception of attractiveness, stress)
Faculty - Division / Research Group / Laboratory
Division of Human Sciences / Research Group of Psychology / Laboratory of Psychology
Graduate School - Division / Department / Laboratory
Division of Human Sciences / Department of Psychology / Laboratory of Psychology
School - Course / Laboratory
Division of Humanities and Human Sciences / Course of Human Sciences / Laboratory of Psychology

Office/Lab: E409
TEL: +81-11-706-4154
Email: jkawa(at)let.hokudai.ac.jp
Replace “(at)” with “@” when sending email.

Foreign exchange students who want to be research students (including Japanese residents) should apply for the designated period in accordance with the “Research Student Application Guidelines”. Even if you send an email directly to the staff, there is no reply.
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Laboratory of PsychologyKAWAHARA Jun-ichiro Professor

Examining attention and memory functions through human behavior

Can you detect a red letter embedded in a stream of letters? Did you see a scene of sea shore? Our cognitive system is highly flexible to achieve behavioral goals when encountering a complex visual world. The system is said to be equipped with two major subsystems: One works roughly, unconsciously and automatically; the other works deliberately, consciously and actively using “attentional resources.” Are there any limitations to an unconscious system? On what principles is the distribution of attentional resources based? Students in my laboratory are striving to develop technologies for measuring human behavior by conducting experiments to identify cognitive mechanisms from the perspectives of attention and memory.

My research consists of two categories: One is basic research related to attention, memory and attractiveness, and the other is joint research with companies and research commissioned to me by corporations relating to automobiles, foods, medicines and cosmetics. It is exciting to find research themes from our everyday lives.

Students use computers and various types of equipment depending on the purpose of experiments, sometimes in the laboratory testing cubicles or some other times in real-life fields.
Students present experimental data of on-going projects on every-week laboratory meeting.

We provide support for your research so that you can develop a sense of independence while you’re in the graduate school to survive in the field relevant to your research in the future

My job is to provide guidance whereby students, especially those who wish to engage in careers in education or research, can cultivate a sense of independence as an educator or researcher. Obviously, students should be engrossed in their research, but merely spending lots of time in the lab does not suffice. I would like to help students to lead fruitful graduate school lives by considering the next step through comprehensive consultations with students.

The key is to proactively work on anything if there’s even a slight possibility that you can do it. To gain a position in academia, you need to acquire skills for survival to continue research activities. Does this interest you? If so, you may have a good aptitude for it. Would you join us for exploring a new world of cognitive studies?


The goal of this laboratory is to enjoy conducting research that will be useful for the future.

The word “enjoy” here connotes not only the interest and excitement seen from the standpoint of the psychological establishment but also the pleasure felt by the individual members who will spend part of their lives in this laboratory. At the same time, the term “useful” here refers to both its contribution to the world and the psychological establishment as well as the fact that it will be beneficial for the future careers of laboratory members.

I believe it is my duty to help laboratory members acquire expertise and skills that will cause others to say they are well-versed in psychology as may be expected of graduates from a psychological laboratory once they have gone out into the world. I would like to do my utmost so that you can feel you enjoyed your university experience even after graduation.

Through training in hypothesis formulation and empirical verification, graduate students will be able to acquire the following skills necessary as independent researchers:

● Capacity to identify and resolve problems
Students foster the capacity to sort out complicated findings and detect issues.

● Capacity to carry out studies
Students cultivate the capacity to specifically conduct actual research once problems and their solutions have been fixed.
This includes experimental plans and analytic skills.

● Capacity to publish research articles
Students learn how to write an article in a specific format by avoiding merely lining up sections such as summary, purpose, method, results and consideration. In addition to undergoing training through specific writing examples such as those to which reviewers are inclined to pose questions or those of which they are convinced, students engage in practical training for peer review processes.

● Capacity to stand on their own
Students receive training aimed at surviving in this establishment so that they can play an active role as an independent researcher after graduation. They can also engage in a wide variety of training including laboratory management, interaction with other researchers, joint research, lecturing techniques, and self-management at universities or research institutes.

Theses (i.e., master’s theses and dissertations) are by-products certifying that you are a holder of the above-mentioned capabilities. I would be pleased to welcome undergraduates who are motivated to study in this establishment and graduate students who want to become successors to our laboratory.