Motohide Miyahara

BA (Psychology), MEd (Health Education), MA (Dance Movement Therapy), MSci (Kinesiology), PhD (Kinesiology), DTR, Registered Psychologist
Tel 64 3 479 8387

Japanese Version


Motohide Miyahara has been interested in the body-mind relationships, and studied relevant academic disciplines, including psychology, and the art and science of human movement in Japan and USA. After completing PhD in Kinesiology at UCLA, he conducted his post-doctoral research at the University of London and the Free University of Berlin. Dr Miyahara was a visiting lecturer at the University of Trondeim, Norway in 1994. Since taking up the academic staff position at the University of Otago in 1996, he has been serving as the Director of the Movement Development Clinic . During his Research and Study Leave in 2009 and 2015, he was involved in functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) research at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Okazaki, Japan.

Current Teaching


Prospective Honours, Postgraduate Diploma, Masters, PhD Students
I am interested to supervise candidates with sufficient background knowledge, skills and attitude to conduct research in any discipline in development and disability.

For PhD scholarship information see the University of Otago website

Research Interests

Dr Miyahara has worked in the areas of developmental neuropsychology, motor development and adapted physical activity, and has been researching in three main areas. Representative publications are listed under each description.

1. Investigation into the processes underlying co-morbid conditions of developmental disorders.

Miyahara, M. (2013). Meta review of systematic and meta analytic reviews on movement differences, effect of movement based interventions, and the underlying neural mechanisms in autism spectrum disorder. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 7(16). doi: 10.3389/fnint.2013.00016

Kitada, R., Okamoto, Y., Sasaki, A. T., Kochiyama, T., Miyahara, M., Lederman, S. J. & Sadato, N. (2013). Early visual experience and the recognition of basic facial expressions: involvement of the middle temporal and inferior frontal gyri during haptic identification by the early blind. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7(7), doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00007

Miyahara, M., & Baxter, D. G. (2011). Children with "dyspraxia": a survey of diagnostic heterogeneity, use and perceived effectiveness of interventions. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 23, 439-458.

2. Lifespan development of sequential movement memory.

Miyahara, M., Kitada, R., Sasaki, A., Okamoto, Y., Tanabe, H. C., & Sadato, N. (2013). Spontaneous verbal labeling of complex sequential hand movements reduces fMRI activation of the imitation-related regions. Neuroscience Research, 75(3), 228-238.

Miyahara, M., Leeder, T., Francis, G., & Inghelbrecht, A. (2008). Does an instruction of a verbal labeling strategy for hand movements improve general motor coordination as well as the Gestural Performance?: A test of the relationship between developmental coordination disorder and dyspraxia. Clinical Case Studies, 7, 191-207.

Miyahara, M. (2007) Age influences on working memory for hand movements: A test of metamemory deficit hypothesis. Experimental Aging Research, 33, 417-428.

Miyahara, M. (2003). Effects on memory of verbal labeling for hand movements in persons with Alzheimer's disease. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease & Other Dementias, 18(6), 349-352.

3. Psychosocial aspects of developmental disorders and disability sports.

Miyahara, M., Harada, T., Ruffman, T., Sadato, N., & Iidaka, T. (2013). Functional connectivity between amygdala and facial regions involved in recognition of facial threat. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8(2), 181-189.

Briggs, H., Kolb, A., Miyahara, M. (2012). Able as anything: Integrated dance performance in New Zealand. Brolga, 37, 16-30.

Miyahara, M., Ruffman, T., Fujita, C., & Tsujii, M. (2010). How well can young people with Asperger's disorder recognize threat and learn about affect in faces?: A pilot study. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4(2), 242-248.

Miyahara, M., & Piek, J. (2006). Self-esteem of children and adolescents with physical disabilities: Quantitative evidence from meta-analysis. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 18, 219-234.

To see details of postgraduate students this staff member may be supervising please visit the Postgraduate Profiles section of our website.

Last updated 3 June 2015

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