Letter from CAIRC
June 2003 Vol.7 No.1

Recipients chosen for the 6th CAIRC Scholarship Program
for advancing the study of relationships between humans and
companion animals

Five scholarship recipients chosen from 40 proposals submitted by researchers and specialists in diverse fields ranging from education to medicine

The Companion Animal Information and Research Center (CAIRC), a non-profit organization working to foster greater enlightenment on the theme of the relationships between humans and companion animals, has selected the following five proposals for this year's CAIRC Scholarship Program for advancing the study of relationships between humans and companion animals, the sixth time the scholarship has been awarded since its establishment in 1998. Each scholarship recipient will be awarded 500,000.

The selection committee consisted of Azabu University Professor Dr. Mitsuaki Ohta, University of Tokyo Professor Dr. Yuji Mori, and University of Tokyo Professor Emeritus Dr. Yoichi Shoda.


- Reconsideration of the Concept and Function of Social Support Provided by Pets
By Shu-Feng Chang, resident of Nagoya, Aichi prefecture and doctoral student, Nagoya University Graduate School, Department of Education and Human Development

- How Learning More About Animals' Mental Abilities Affects Our View of Animals
By Tohru Taniuchi, resident of Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture and lecturer in the Department of Human Studies, Faculty of Letters, Kanazawa University

- Neural correlates of perception and affect underlying human-animal relationships: a research using functional magnetic resonance imaging
By Takashi Hanakawa, resident of Kyoto, instructor, Human Brain Research Center, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine

- A neuroscientific understanding of dog training to develop a better interaction between humans and dogs
By Nobuyo Otani, resident of Osaka and researcher, New Institute of Animal Science

- The Effect of Companion Animals on Bereaved Elderly
By Yuko Tanaka, resident of Nishi Kasugai, Aichi prefecture, instructor, Gerontological nursing, Aichi Prefectural College of Nursing & Health


Entering to the 6th year of the scholarship program, the relationships between humans and companion animals is being approached from a diverse array of scholarly fields

In its efforts to deepen the understanding of the relationships between humans and companion animals, CAIRC is working to further research in this field. CAIRC's endeavor is to support young researchers who excel in their own diverse fields as they work to help broaden the study of human-animal relationships. The CAIRC Scholarship Program for advancing the study of relationships between humans and companion animals is part of that effort.

This year’s proposals included entries from researchers and specialists in fields as diverse as veterinary science, zoology, medicine, sociology, psychology, education, information science, folklore, anthropology, nursing, biology, topography and others. Research projects treated a wide range of subjects, indicating a real broadening of the study of human-animal relationships as a scholarly field.

“As we can see by the great range and diversity of subjects covered in the applications this scholarly field has definitely taken root in Japan, and that gives me great pleasure,” said Selection Committee Chairman Dr. Shoda. “Of particular note was this year's expansion into the realms of psychology, such as social psychology, comparative cognitive psychology, developmental clinical psychology, community psychology and other fields. Next year, the tri-annual Conference of Human-Animal Interactions will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, and I have high hopes that the advance of this scholarly field in Japan will gain ever more recognition on the global scene”.

CAIRC, will continue to conduct the Scholarship Program for advancing the study of relationships between humans and companion animals in order to encourage young researchers to take on ever more challenging topics and further expand and deepen the study of the relationships between humans and animals.


Selection Committee Members:

- Mitsuaki Ohta,
Professor, Animal and Human Bonds, School of Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University

Prof. Ohta has been in his current position since 1999, until which he worked at Osaka Prefecture University College of Agriculture as an Associate Professor. His research has focused on the “Animal-assisted therapy and activity”. He currently serves as the Director of Secretariat of the Society for the Study of Human Animal Relations, as well as an organizer of the New Institute of Animal Science. The publications include “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of THE DOG” (Irasutodemiru Inugaku) ,“Animal Rescue in the Great Hanshin Earthquake” (Daishinsai no Hisai Doubutsu wo Sukuu Tame Ni), and editorship of Japanese translations including that of “Kindred Spirits: how the remarkable bond between humans and animals can change the way we live” (Hito ha naze Doubutsu ni Iyasareruka).

- Yuji Mori,
Professor, Veterinary Ethology, Veterinary Medical Science/Animal Resource Science, the University of Tokyo

Prof.Mori has been in his current position since 1997, after serving as an associate professor at the University of Tokyo. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Society for the Study of Human Animal Relations, as well as the representative of the Japanese Veterinary Society for the Study of Animal Behavior. His publication activities include “The Clinical Manual for Behavior Problems of Dogs and Cats”, and editorship of Japanese translations, including that of James Serpell's “The Domestic Dog: its evolution, behavior and interactions with people”.

- Yoichi Shoda,
CAIRC Chairman and Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo

Dr. Shoda is a doctor of agricultural science. After serving as a professor at the University of Tokyo and other universities, he currently directs the Tokyo Zoological Park Society and is a board member of the Yamashita Institute for Ornithology. Major publications include “Animals Created by Man.”
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