Hiroaki Kumano's Lab

About the lab

Behavioral Medicine, Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Metacognitive Therapy, Brain Sciences.
Sorry for the picture explained only in Japanese.

Featured projects (2)

To estimate the state or trait of mindfulness or vice-versa mind-wandering without asking the subject, by measuring EEG, cerebral blood flow or autonomic functions.

Featured research (8)

Self-compassion is regarded as a mediating or moderating variable in mindfulness-based interventions (MBI). However, few studies have investigated the role of self-compassion on MBI. Therefore, we conducted a randomized controlled trial to examine whether (1) MBI decreases depression and trait anxiety, while increasing trait mindfulness, trait self-compassion, self-compassionate behaviors (SC behaviors), and behaviors, along with improving mood; and (2) SC behaviors moderate the effect of mindful behaviors on mood in daily life. Participants were patients with depression and/or anxiety ( N=19) in Japan. Of the 27 participants recruited, 19 participated in the study. Using stratified randomization, we allocated 10 participants to the intervention group, with an 8-week standard MBI, and nine to the waitlist control group. Depression, trait anxiety, trait mindfulness, and trait self-compassion were assessed using questionnaires, while SC behaviors, mindful behaviors, and mood were measured using an ecological momentary assessment—a method used to repeatedly record events and behaviors in daily life. The results revealed that depression, trait anxiety, trait mindfulness, and trait self-compassion did not significantly change. However, SC behaviors, mindful behaviors, and mood significantly improved with MBI. Moreover, the interaction between SC behaviors and mindful behaviors was significantly shown in the pre-intervention, suggesting that SC behaviors moderate the effect of mindful behaviors on mood in daily life.
Background: The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) model of human functioning uses the behavioral processes of acceptance, mindfulness, and values, which together compose psychological flexibility, the ability to contact the present moment more fully as a conscious human being and to either change or persist when doing so serves valued ends. To increase the effectiveness of interventions in the medical treatment of diabetes, it is important to examine the effects on patients with type 2 diabetes of promoting the active component patterns of ACT. This study explores these points. Methods: Questionnaires were administered to type 2 diabetes patients who were registered in the database of a research service provider, and data was collected and analyzed from a total of 211 patients (mean age ± SD was 58.84 years old ±10.25, 14.69% were females). Results: Cluster analysis yielded four clusters: "Average" (average levels of acceptance, mindfulness, and values), "Flexibility" (high levels of acceptance, mindfulness, and values), "Values/low" (average levels of acceptance and mindfulness, and a low level of values), "Values/high" (average levels of acceptance and mindfulness and a high level of values). Patients in the "Flexibility" and "Values/high" clusters had significantly fewer depressive symptoms than the other clusters. However, members of the "Values/high" cluster demonstrated significantly higher glycated hemoglobin levels than those in the other clusters. Conclusions: The results above indicate that each part of the ACT model is necessary for managing diabetes treatment while improving quality of life. The importance of values is emphasized in ACT for diabetes patients, but we argue, given our results, that acceptance and mindfulness are very important for Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes. This study is limited to Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes. In further research, the subject population must be expanded to people from other areas and of different racial backgrounds.
Objective: Mindfulness meditation might improve the ability of disengagement from mind-wandering (MW), that is, the ability to shift attention from MW. Disengagement from MW could mediate the relationship between mindfulness and reduced depression. However, no studies have confirmed this relationship because of limitations in measurement methodology. Since the mindfulness-based intervention, which instructs participants to be aware of the occurrence of, and their own engagement in, MW, might bias self-reports of MW, a measurement method that does not rely on participants’ verbal report is needed. Therefore, we propose a novel method to evaluate the ability of disengagement from MW, based on MW intensity estimation by machine-learning using electroencephalography. Method: Mind-wandering (MW) intensity was estimated using 1-s electroencephalogram samples and a machine-learning model developed in previous research. Thus, fluctuations in MW were observed during a 14-min meditation and the time required to shift attention from MW was defined as an index of MW disengagement. Two experiments were performed: The first targeted experienced meditators and the second assessed nonmeditators before and after participating in a mindfulness-based intervention. Results: The experiments revealed that disengagement from MW correlated with the extent of meditation experience. A correlation was also found between the magnitude of change in disengagement and severity of depression following the intervention. Conclusions: Though further verification of validity is required, this study suggested the possibility that disengagement from MW has a mediating function on reducing depression by mindfulness-based intervention, and that improved disengagement from MW is more essential for mindfulness than trait MW.
Self-focused attention plays an essential role in social anxiety disorder, which is reported to be accompanied by overactivation of the right frontal pole. In this study, we explore the possibility that suppressing over-activation of the right frontal pole would lead to the mitigation of self-focused attention. We used transcranial static magnetic field stimulation (tSMS) to investigate this possibility. Participants were divided into two groups: one group received tSMS (n = 3) and the other received sham stimulation (n = 2). Changes in psychological indices and cerebral blood flow were measured before and after the intervention. The results showed that tSMS might mitigate self-focused attention and decrease activation of the right frontal pole. For future research, a larger number of subjects and participants with high social anxiety will be required to examine the clinical effects efficiently.
This study created an attention training technique (ATT) with sound stimuli that induced self-focused attention (SFA) and compared the effects with a standard ATT. We recruited and assigned a total of 30 undergraduate students with social anxiety tendencies to the SFA-ATT and standard ATT groups. Each ATT was performed for two weeks and the changes in social anxiety, attention control function, SFA, and post-event processing (PEP) were examined. Although the fear of social situations decreased in both groups, the diminution level in the SFA-ATT group was larger compared to the standard ATT group. The observer perspective during the speech task decreased in both groups, and there was no difference in the change between the groups. The PEP decreased only in the SFA-ATT group. Overall, SFA-ATT had a larger effect on social anxiety disorder symptoms and PEP than the standard ATT. However, further research on the differences between the mechanisms of the SFA-ATT and standard ATT is required.

Lab head

Hiroaki Kumano
  • Faculty of Human Sciences
About Hiroaki Kumano
  • Hiroaki KUMANO is a professor of clinical psychology at Waseda University and runs the laboratory of Behavioral Medicine. He is a psychosomatic physician as well as a clinical psychologist and sees many patients with anxiety disorders especially panic disorder and social anxiety disorder, depression, eating disorders, and psychosomatic diseases. Their current research interests are clinical behavioral analysis, mindfulness, attention, and brain imaging. Methods and techniques they use are psychometric measures such as ecological momentary assessment, interviews, and questionnaires, and neurocognitive measures including EEG, NIRS, and eye-tracking.

Members (18)

Nozomi Tomita
  • Waseda University
Ayumi Minamide
  • Waseda University
Siqing Guan
  • Waseda University
Mana Oguchi
  • Waseda University
Taro Uchida
  • Waseda University
Junichi Saito
  • Waseda University
Hiroki Katayama
  • Waseda University
Hirayama Chihiro
  • Waseda University

Alumni (24)

Toru Takahashi
  • Waseda University
Yusuke Nitta
  • Waseda University
Tomosumi Haitani
  • Research Institute, National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities, Saitama, Japan