​Assistant Professor
Exercise and Sport Psychology,
Physical Education and Sports Science,
National Institute of Education
Office: 6790 3702
E-mail: masato.kawabata[at]ntu[dot]edu[dot]sg
Biographical Profile

PhD (University of Queensland, Australia, 2008)
MSc (University of Tsukuba, Japan, 1997)
BEd (University of Tsukuba, Japan, 1994)
Masato completed his PhD in sport and exercise psychology at the University of Queensland in Australia. In addition, he obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the area of Health and Sport Sciences in Japan. His majors for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees were sport biomechanics and coaching studies, respectively. He also volunteered to coach athletics (e.g., running) and alpine skiing to people with intellectual disabilities for six years in Japan. He was a chief coach of an athletics course organised by Special Olympics Tokyo from 1999 to 2000.
Research Interests

Masato has been interested in how physical activity affects physical and psychological well-being and human development across the lifespan. In the quest to find answers to that question, he has conducted extensive research on optimal experience in physical activity settings. As an educator, he has been most interested in how practitioners (e.g., educators and coaches) can assist others in engaging constructively so that they can lead flourishing lives. He has used physical activity (e.g., exercise and sport) as a vehicle for fostering the principles of personal growth. His research outputs have been published in respectable international journals (e.g., British Journal of Health Psychology, Journal of Sports Sciences, Motivation and Emotion, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, The Sport Psychologist).

Research Interest in the Neuroscience of Learning and Education

Masato is interested in examining the effect of physical activity and human movement on brain functioning. He is currently working on a research project with Dr Stephen Burns and Dr Kerry Lee to examine the effects of breakfast and exercise on academic and cognitive performance in Singapore youth. In addition, he has supervised several students’ projects to examine the effects of different physical activities on cognitive functioning.
He is willing to explore collaborative research projects on the following topics.
Education/Performance-related projects

• Exploring the experience of immersion in cognitive tasks to promote optimal functioning
• Children’s brain functions between autonomous and controlled conditions
• On the effect of different types of achievement goals on brain functions during in stressful situations
• On brain functions in cognitive tasks across different mental effort intensity
Health-related projects

• On difference in brain functions between fit and unfit people (including people with special needs) across diverse age groups
• On the effect of physical activity on elderly’s cognitive function
• On the effect of physical activity on brain functions of individuals with special needs
• On the effect of acute exercise on recovery from mental fatigue
• On the effects of standing and sitting positions on brain functions in learning situations