• Welcome to "MED" lab!

    Musical Expertise and Disorders Lab.

  • Research Mission

    Science for Musicians' Wellness

    more info? www.neuropiano.net (both Japanese & English)

    Movement science

    Sensorimotor skill of musical performance


    Transcranial stimulation and retraining for musicians' disorders

    Motor Learning

    Skill acquisition and CRYSTALLIZATION for musicians

    Biomedical Engineering

    Pathophysiology and clinical diagnosis of musicians' disorders

  • Research Topics

    Extremes of Human Sensorimotor Skill

    Sensory-Motor Skill

    Neuromuscular Mechanism of Virtuosity

    MoCap, Data Glove, EMG, Force & position sensors, Robotics, Data science

    Sensory-Motor Integration

    Psychophysics, Sensory test, Human Computer Interface, SEP by EEG

    Focal Dystonia, Tremor, Chronic Pain

    tDCS/tACS, TMS, EEG, Machine Learning, Dimensionality reduction

    Injury Prevention & Retraining

    Questionnaire, Biomechanics, Intervention, Rehabilitation

    Optimal Practice

    Online & Offline Learning, Transfer, Neuroplasticity, Practice regime, Supervised/Reinforcement learning, internal model, Mental rehearsal

    Augmented Feedback

    Bio-/Neuro-feedback, Computer Graphics (CG), Haptic Interface

  • Our Team

    Current member and Alumni


    Sensorimotor control and learning in musical performance

    Takanori OKU

    Postdoctoral Associate

    Neuromuscular control and neuro-rehabilitation in musicians' dystonia

    Shuntaro KOTANI

    Master Student

    Hand motor control under mental pressure


    Master Student

    Metaplasticity of auditory-motor system in musicians

    Moe HOSODA

    Master Student

    Sensory-motor coupling in musicians

    Mizuha SAKURADA

    Master Student

    Optimal musical practice for acquiring motor virtuosity


    Master Student

    Neural dynamics in control of sequential movements in musical performance

    Tomohiro SAITO

    Master Student

    Human interface for musicians

    Shogo KUWABARA

    Alumni (2016~2017)

    Exoskeleton for hand motor training

    Hiroshi MATSUI

    Alumni (2016~2017)

    Online visuomotor coordination in musical performance

    Sayuri YOKOTA

    Alumni (2015~2016)

    Impacts of variable practice on muscular synergy in musical performance


    Alumni (2015~2016)

    Hand synergy in musician's dystonia

    Mamoru TAYA

    Alumni (2014~2016)

    Development of piano-embedded sensors

    You MURATA

    Alumni (2014~2015)

    Identification of musician's dystonia using deep neural network and random forest 


    Alumni (2014~2015)

    Machine learning approach for characterizing musician's dystonia

  • Publication List

    Complete list is here

    International Journal Articles (peer-reviewed)

    *: equally-contributed co-first authors

    1. Shinichi Furuya*, Kazumasa Uehara*, Takashi Sakamoto, Takashi Hanakawa. Aberrant cortical excitability explains the loss of hand dexterity in musician’s dystonia. (in revision)
    2. Shinichi Furuya*, Sayuri Yokota*. Temporal exploration of sequential movements in sequential movements shapes efficient neuromuscular control. (in revision)

    3. Shuntaro Kotani, Shinichi Furuya. State anxiety disorganizes finger movements during musical performance. (in revision)

    4. Shinichi Furuya*, Yuta Furukawa*, Kazumasa Uehara, Takanori Oku. Probing sensory-motor integration during musical performance. Annals of the New York Academy of Science (in press), 2018

    5. Masato Hirano, Shinji Kubota, Shinichi Furuya, Yoshiki Koizume, Shinya Tanaka, and Kozo Funase.: The acquisition of skilled finger movements is accompanied by the reorganization of the corticospinal system. Journal of Neurophysiology (in press), 2018

    6. Shinichi Furuya.: Individual differences in sensorimotor skills among musicians. Current Opinion in Behavioral Science 20: 61-66, 2018

    7. Yuta Furukawa, Kazumasa Uehara, Shinichi Furuya.: Expertise-dependent motor somatotopy of music perception. Neuroscience Letters 650: 97-102, 2017

    8. Eckart Altenmüller. Shinichi Furuya.: Apollos Gift and Curse: Making music as a model for adaptive and maladaptive plasticity. e-Neuroforum 23(2) 57-75, 2017

    9. Sarah Pirio Richardson, Eckart Altenmüller, Katharine Alter, Ron L. Alterman, Robert Chen, Steven Frucht, Shinichi Furuya, Joseph Jankovic, H. A. Jinnah, Teresa J. Kimberley, Codrin Lungu, Joel S. Perlmutter, Cecília N. Prudente, Mark Hallett.: Research priorities in limb and task-specific dystonias. Frontiers in Neurology 8:170, 2017

    10. Takanori Oku*, Shinichi Furuya*.: Skillful force control in expert pianists. Experimental Brain Research 235(5), 1603-1615, 2017

    11. Eckart Altenmüller. Shinichi Furuya.: Brain plasticity and the concept of metaplasticity in skilled musicians. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. 957:197-208, 2016

    12. Moe Hosoda, Shinichi Furuya.: Shared somatosensory and motor functions in musicians. Scientific Reports 6: 37632, 2016

    13. Kenta Tominaga, Andre Lee, Eckart Altenmüller, Fumio Miyazaki, Shinichi Furuya.: Kinematic origins of motor fluctuation in expert pianists. PLoS One 11(8):e0161324, 2016

    14. Christos Ioannou, Shinichi Furuya, Eckart Altenmüller.: Objective evaluation of performance stress in musicians with dystonia: a feasibility study. Journal of Motor Behavior 48(6):562-572, 2016

    15. Andre Lee, Jacob Voget, Shinichi Furuya, Masanori Morise, Eckart Altenmüller.: Quantification of sound instability in embouchure tremor based on the time varying fundamental frequency. Journal of Neural Transmission 123(5):515-521, 2016

    16. Christos Ioannou, Shinichi Furuya, Eckart Altenmüller.: The impact of stress on motor performance in skilled musicians suffering from focal dystonia: Physiological and psychological characteristics. Neuropsychologia 85:226-236, 2016

    17. Shinichi Furuya, Takashi Hanakawa.: The curse of motor expertise: use-dependent focal dystonia as manifestation of maladaptive changes in body representation. Neuroscience Research 104: 112-119, 2016

    18. Shinichi Furuya, Takayuki Oku, Fumio Miyazaki, Hiroshi Kinoshita.: Secrets of virtuoso: neuromuscular attributes of motor virtuosity in expert musicians. Scientific Reports 5:15750, 2015

    19. Shinichi Furuya, Kenta Tominaga, Fumio Miyazaki, Eckart Altenmüller: Losing dexterity: impaired coordination of finger movements in musician's dystonia. Scientific Reports 5:13360, 2015

    20. Shinichi Furuya, Eckart Altenmüller: Acquisition and reacquisition of motor coordination in musicians. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1337: 118–124, 2015

    21. Sara Winges, Shinichi Furuya: Distinct digit kinematics by professional and amateur pianists. Neuroscience 284: 643–652, 2015

    22. Andre Lee, Kenta Tominaga, Shinichi Furuya, Fumio Miyazaki, Eckart Altenmüller: Electrophysiological characteristics of task-specific tremor in 22 instrumentalists. Journal of Neural Transmission 122(3): 393-401, 2015

    23. Shinichi Furuya, Matthias Klaus, Michael Nitsche, Walter Paulus, Eckart Altenmüller: Ceiling effects prevent further improvement of transcranial stimulation in skilled musicians. The Journal of Neuroscience 34(41):13834 - 13839, 2014

    24. Andre Lee*, Shinichi Furuya*, Masanori Morise, Peter Iltius, Eckart Altenmüller: Quantification of instability of tone production in embouchure dystonia. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 20(11):1161-1164, 2014

    25. Andre Lee, Kenta Tominaga, Shinichi Furuya, Fumio Miyazaki, Eckart Altenmüller: Quantification of secondary task-specific tremor after temporal lobectomy. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8:559, 2014

    26. Floris van Vugt, Shinichi Furuya, Henning Vauth, Hans-Christian Jabusch, Eckart Altenmüller. Spatial and temporal symmetries in motor primitives in skilled piano performance at different tempi. Experimental Brain Research 232(11): 3555-3567, 2014

    27. Shinichi Furuya, Ayumi Nakamura, Noriko Nagata: Acquisition of individuated finger movements through musical practice. Neuroscience 275(C): 444-454, 2014

    28. Shinichi Furuya, Ayumi Nakamura, Noriko Nagata: Extraction of finger coordination pattern associated with motor learning in piano practice using principal component analysis. Neuroscience Letters 577(C): 38-44, 2014

    29. Andre Lee, Shinichi Furuya, Eckart Altenmüller: Epidemiology and treatment of 23 musicians with task specific tremor. Journal of Clinical Movement Disorders 1:5, 2014

    30. Shinichi Furuya, Michael Nitsche, Walter Paulus, Eckart Altenmüller: Surmounting retraining limits in musicians’ dystonia by transcranial stimulation. Annals of Neurology 75(5): 700-707, 2014

    31. Marieke van der Steen, Eva Molendijk, Eckart Altenmüller, Shinichi Furuya: Expert pianists do not listen: the expertise-dependent influence of temporal perturbation on the production of sequential movements. Neuroscience 269(C): 290-298, 2014

    32. Andre Lee, Kenta Tominaga, Shinichi Furuya, Fumio Miyazaki, Eckart Altenmüller. Coherence of coactivation and acceleration in task-specific primary bowing tremor. Journal of Neural Transmission 121(7):739-742, 2014

    33. Shinichi Furuya, Ayumi Nakamura, Noriko Nagata: Transfer of piano practice at submaximal speed in fast performance of skilled finger movements. BMC Neuroscience, 14: 133, 2013

    34. Shinichi Furuya, Eckart Altenmüller: Finger-specific loss of independent control of finger movements in musician's dystonia. Neuroscience, 247C: 152-163, 2013

    35. Andre Lee, Shinichi Furuya, Matthias Karst, Eckart Altenmüller: Alteration in predictability of sensory outcome of motor action in focal hand dystonia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 172 (7 pages), 2013

    36. Sara Winges, Shinichi Furuya, Nathaniel Faber, Martha Flanders: Patterns of muscle activity for digital coarticulation, Journal of Neurophysiology, 110(1), 230-242, 2013

    37. Andre Lee, Kenta Tominaga, Shinichi Furuya, Fumio Miyazaki, Eckart Altenmüller: Task-specific tremor in violinists: evidence of coactivation in the 3-8 Hz frequency range. Movement Disorders, 28(13): 1890-1892, 2013

    38. Shinichi Furuya, Eckart Altenmüller: Flexibility of movement organization in piano performance. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 173 (10 pages), 2013

    39. Shinichi Furuya, Michael Nitsche, Walter Paulus, Eckart Altenmüller: Early optimization in finger dexterity of skilled pianists: implication of transcranial stimulation. BMC Neuroscience, 14:35 (8 pages), 2013

    40. Rebecca Schaefer, Shinichi Furuya, Leigh Smith, Blair Kaneshiro, Petri Toiviainen: Probing neural mechanisms of music perception, cognition, and performance using multivariate decoding, Psychomusicology, 22(2), 168-174, 2012

    41. Shinichi Furuya, John Soechting: Speed invariance of independent control of finger movements in pianists, Journal of Neurophysiology, 108(7), 2060-2068, 2012

    42. Shinichi Furuya, Tomoko Aoki, Hidehiro Nakahara, Hiroshi Kinoshita: Individual differences in the biomechanical effect of loudness and tempo on upper-limb movements during repetitive piano keystrokes, Human Movement Science, 31(1), 26-39, 2012

    43. Shinichi Furuya, Martha Flanders, John Soechting: Hand kinematics of piano playing. Journal of Neurophysiology, 106(6), 2849-2864, 2011

    44. Shinichi Furuya, Tatsushi Goda, Haruhiro Katayose, Hiroyoshi Miwa, Noriko Nagata: Distinct interjoint coordination during fast alternate keystroke in pianists with superior skill. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 5, 50 (13 pages), 2011

    45. Hidehiro Nakahara, Shinichi Furuya, Tsutomu Masuko, Peter Francis, Hiroshi Kinoshita: Performing music can induce greater modulation of emotion-related psychophysiological responses than listening to music, International Journal of Psychophysiology, 81(3), 152-158, 2011

    46. Shinichi Furuya, Eckart Altenmüller, Haruhiro Katayose, Hiroshi Kinoshita: Control of multi-joint arm movements for the manipulation of touch in keystroke by expert pianists. BMC Neuroscience, 11(1), 82 (15 pages), 2010

    47. Shinichi Furuya, John Soechting: Role of auditory feedback in the control of successive keystrokes during piano playing, Experimental Brain Research, 204(2), 223-237, 2010

    48. Hidehiro Nakahara, Shinichi Furuya, Peter Francis, Hiroshi Kinoshita: Psycho-physiological responses to expressive piano performance, International Journal of Psychophysiology, 75(3), 268-276, 2010

    49. Shinichi Furuya, Rieko Osu, Hiroshi Kinoshita: Effective utilization of gravity during arm downswing in keystroke by expert pianists. Neuroscience, 164(2), 822-831, 2009

    50. Hidehiro Nakahara, Shinichi Furuya, Tsutomu Masuko, Satoshi Obata, Hiroshi Kinoshita: Emotion-related changes in heart rate and its variability during perception and performance of music, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1169(1), 359-362, 2009

    51. Shinichi Furuya, Hiroshi Kinoshita: Expertise-dependent modulation of muscular and non-muscular torques in multi-joint arm movements during piano keystroke. Neuroscience, 156(2), 390-402, 2008

    52. Shinichi Furuya, Hiroshi Kinoshita: Organization of the upper limb movement for piano key-depression differs between expert pianists and novice players, Experimental Brain Research, 185(4), 581-593, 2008

    53. Shinichi Furuya, Hiroshi Kinoshita: Roles of proximal-to-distal sequential organization of the upper limb segments in striking the keys by expert pianists, Neuroscience Letters, 421(3), 264-269, 2007

    54. Hiroshi Kinoshita, Shinichi Furuya, Tomoko Aoki, Eckart Altenmüller: Loudness control in pianists as exemplified in keystroke force measurements at different touches, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 121(5Pt1), 2959-2969, 2007

    55. Shinichi Furuya, Hidehiro Nakahara, Tomoko Aoki, Hiroshi Kinoshita: Prevalence and causal factors of playing-related musculoskeletal disorders of the upper extremity and trunk among Japanese pianists and piano students, Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 21(3), 112-117, 2006

    56. Tomoko Aoki, Shinichi Furuya, Hiroshi Kinoshita: Finger tapping ability in male and female pianists and nonmusician control, Motor Control, 9(1), 23-39, 2005

  • Outreach

    Our research on media

    TEDxSophia 2016 "Harmonizing Science with Musicians"

    Neuro-rehabilitation for Musicians' Dystonia @ RTL (in German)

    Joint Event with Lang Lang @ SONY Explora Science (in Japanese)

  • How to work at MED lab

    More about our research? www.neuropiano.net

    Research Assistant




  • Opportunities to Join MED Lab

    For students and post-docs


    Currently I'm not eligible to formally supervise any new undergrad students. To get involved in our research projects as a project-based part-time member (e.g. RA who assists experiments and data analysis), just feel free to contact me about the details. You can join us as a part of JST CREST project.

    If your supervisor agrees with my co-supervision of your research, I'm willing to accept it. Currently I'm supervising some students from different universities in this way (e.g. Kwansei Gakuin University, Sophia University, Hannover Medical University).


    You can also work with us temporarily (e.g. 1 year) as an internship student. I recommend you to obtain a permission of your formal PhD mentor. Japanese government has some fellowship for temporally-visiting scholars, which can fund your stay.


    If you are interested in working as a post-doc, please get in touch. Currently, I cannot offer full financial support for your working, but your country may have fellowships supporting your research activities in Japan (e.g. Alexander von Humboldt, DFG, Marie Curie, Fulbright). Also, the Japanese government provides a fellowship for young foreign researchers (max. 2 yrs, highly-recommended!). For German researchers, I am eligible to be a host of "Feodor Lynen Research Fellow" of the Humboldt Foundation. I have a space, equipment, and projects for post-docs in my lab (SONY CSL & Sophia University), and you may have opportunities of collaborating with my motor control colleagues in Tokyo and Osaka.


    Post-docs are strongly encouraged to have fundamental knowledge/skill of statistics (e.g. R, SPSS) and programming (e.g. Matlab). People with experience of TMS, MoCap, robotics, and/or machine learning are also welcomed.

  • Contact Form

    Don't hesitate to contact me about any questions which may arise.