Major in Rehabilitation Sciences
Field of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Overview of the field

In addition to conducting experimental research and clinical studies on the structures, functions and pathological conditions affecting language and the auditory system, the Field of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences is also aimed at determining the scientifically and clinically closely related "eating" and "deglutition" functions, and the principles of higher brain functions. It involves interdisciplinary research on the disorders, mechanisms, evaluation, training, methods of treatment of those functions. By elucidating the mechanism of mutually associated disorders of various types, the Field of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences educates human resources capable of implementing effective treatments and support aimed at improving the QOL (quality of life) of people with disabilities pertaining to language, hearing, deglutition and cognitive functions.

Characteristics of the field

Development of human resources equipped with professional expertise and applied skills

In the Field of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, we promote basic research, clinical studies and practical research. Our goal is to train human resources with deeper knowledge and applied skills and who, will be capable of establishing learning systems and respond to the needs of society.

Facilities and equipment in the graduate school

The laboratory of the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences is located immediately adjacent to the room of graduate students. Computers dedicated for exclusive use by graduate students have also been installed there. Voice acoustic analysis equipment has been installed in the speech and acoustics laboratory in the experimental training building. For language training, various types of testing equipment and appliances have been installed as well. And in the auditory laboratory and the soundproof room, audiometry equipment as well as equipment related to hearing aids and cochlear implants have been placed.

The practice of wide-scope research rooted in clinical studies

In the Field of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, we are engaged in wide-scope and clinically-rooted research themes. The research is not only limited to language and hearing disabilities or to the evaluation of the dysfunction and training. Examples: a series of research in which improvements in the MMSE (Mini Mental State Examination) were observed and a useful clinical evaluation index was created (Ito et al, 2005, etc.); a series of research in which the influence of disturbance of executive function in patients with Alzheimer's disease on self-care was analyzed (Tachikawa et al, 2008, etc).

Master's Degree

Master of Rehabilitation Science (M.Rehab.Sc.) in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Examples of research topics

  • Research on the evaluation of patients with dementia through a structured interview of their caregivers
  • Study of the use of clinical diagnosis in the nursing care of patients with dementia
  • Phonological and prosodic analyses of normal children and children with language development disorders
  • Study on the teaching and the environment of children with language (development) disorders
  • Study on the language of children with learning disabilities, and their teaching programs
  • Treatment of phonological disorders based on distinctive features
  • Systematization of direct and indirect teaching in faltering children
  • Individual differences in the acoustic characteristics of abnormal articulation and hypernasality
  • Experimental research on the awareness of educators or people in charge of childcare (or the present school teachers) on phonological disorders
  • Functional recovery in patients with dysphagia
  • Efficacy of the functional training method
  • Various problems related to the wearing of hearing aids in age-related hearing loss
  • The hearing aid from the perspective of hearing aid dealers
  • Variations of the SN50% SRT score in the elderly
  • Development of an effective training method for aphasic patients
  • The posture of patients with dysphagia during assistance with feeding
  • The relationship between deglutition and breathing
  • Conditions for enjoying a meal
  • How to make food look delicious enough to be swallowed (pertaining to the color of the food about to be swallowed)
  • Oral care for patients with dysphagia, and its protective efficacy against aspiration pneumonia