• Welcome to "MED" lab!

    Musical Expertise and Disorders Lab.

  • Research Mission

    Science & Technology for Musicians' Health & Wellness

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

    Movement science

    Sensorimotor skill of musical performance


    Transcranial stimulation & re-training for musicians' disorders

    Sensorimotor Learning

    Skill acquisition and CRYSTALLIZATION for musicians

    Biomedical Engineering

    Pathophysiology &Pathology of musicians' disorders

  • Research Topics

    Extremes of Human Sensorimotor Skill

    ”Virtuosity Science"

    Neuromuscular Mechanism of Virtuosity

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

    Sensory-Motor Integration

    Psychophysics, Sensory assessment, Human Computer Interface, SEP (EEG), SAI (TMS)

    Focal Dystonia, Tremor, Chronic Pain

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

    Injury Prevention & Retraining

    Questionnaire, Biomechanics, Intervention, Rehabilitation, Exoskeleton, Haptic device

    Optimal Practice

    Online & Offline Learning, Transfer, Memory consolidation and interference, Neuroplasticity, Practice regime and scheduling, Supervised/Reinforcement learning, Internal model, Mental rehearsal

    Augmented Biofeedback

    Bio-/Neuro-feedback, Computer Graphics (CG) and VR/AR, Haptic Interface, Hand exoskeleton (soft and hard)

  • Our Team

    Current member and Alumni


    Sensorimotor control and learning in musical performance

    Postdoctoral Associate

    Neuromuscular control & neuro-rehabilitation in musicians' dystonia

    Postdoctoral Fellow (JSPS PD)

    Neuroplasticity of somatosensory-motor integration

    Hayato Nishioka

    Expert Engineer

    Development of dexterous hand-exoskeleton

    Yudai KIMOTO

    Master student (M2)

    Biomechanics and neurophysiology of hand motor dexterity

    Sachiko SHIOTANI

    Physical Therapist

    Somatosensory functions of musicians' dystonia


    graduate from Sophia University

    Tomohiro SAITO

    Bachelor & Master (2016~2019)

    Human interface for musicians


    Bachelor & Master (2016~2019)

    Robotics-based training for musicians

    Mizuha SAKURADA

    Bachelor & Master (2016~2019)

    Optimal practice for acquiring musical virtuosity


    Bachelor & Master (2015~2019)

    Metaplasticity of auditory-motor system in musicians

    Shuntaro KOTANI

    Bachelor & Master (2015~2018)

    Hand motor control under mental pressure

    Moe HOSODA

    Bachelor & Master (2015~2018)

    Sensory-motor coupling in musicians

    Shogo KUWABARA

    Bachelor (2016~2017)

    Exoskeleton for hand motor training

    Hiroshi MATSUI

    Bachelor (2016~2017)

    Online visuomotor coordination in musical performance

    Sayuri YOKOTA

    Bachelor (2015~2016)

    Impacts of variable practice on muscular synergy in musical performance


    Bachelor (2015~2016)

    Hand synergy in musician's dystonia

    Mamoru TAYA

    Bachelor (2014~2016)

    Development of piano-embedded sensors

    You MURATA

    Bachelor (2014~2015)

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


    Bachelor (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. Yudai Kimoto, Takanori Oku, Shinichi Furuya. Neuromuscular and biomechanical functions subserving finger dexterity in musicians (under review)

    2. Masato Hirano, Yudai Kimoto, Shinichi Furuya. Specialized somatosensory-motor integration functions in musicians (in revision)

    3. Takanori Oku, Shinichi Furuya. Neuromuscular incoordination in musicians' dystonia Parkinsonism & Related Disorders (in press), 2019

    4. Kazumasa Uehara, Shinichi Furuya, Hidemi Numasawa, Kahori Kita, Takashi Sakamoto, Takashi Hanakawa. Distinct roles of brain activity and somatotopic representation in pathophysiology of focal dystonia. Human Brain Mapping 40(6) 1738-1749, 2019

    5. Kahori Kita*, Jaroslav Rokicki*, Shinichi Furuya, Takashi Sakamoto, Takashi Hanakawa. Resting-state basal ganglia connectivity codes a motor musical skill and its disruption due to a disease process. Movement Disorders 33(9) 1472-1480, 2018

    6. Shuntaro Kotani, Shinichi Furuya. State anxiety disorganizes finger movements during musical performance. Journal of Neurophysiology 120(2) 439-451, 2018

    7. Shinichi Furuya*, Sayuri Yokota*. Temporal exploration of sequential movements in sequential movements shapes efficient neuromuscular control. Journal of Neurophysiology 120(1) 196-210, 2018

    8. Shinichi Furuya*, Kazumasa Uehara*, Takashi Sakamoto, Takashi Hanakawa. Aberrant cortical excitability explains the loss of hand dexterity in musician’s dystonia. The Journal of Physiology 596(12) 2397-2411, 2018

    9. Shinichi Furuya*, Yuta Furukawa*, Kazumasa Uehara, Takanori Oku. Probing sensory-motor integration during musical performance. Annals of the New York Academy of Science 1423(1) 211-218, 2018

    10. 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 119(2):573-584, 2018

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

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

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

    14. 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

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

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

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

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

    19. 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

    20. 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

    21. 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

    22. 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

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

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

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

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

    27. 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

    28. 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

    29. 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

    30. 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

    31. 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

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

    33. 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

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

    35. 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

    36. 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

    37. 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

    38. 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

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

    40. 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

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

    42. 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

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

    44. 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

    45. 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

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

    47. 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

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

    49. 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

    50. 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

    51. 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

    52. 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

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

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

    55. 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

    56. 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

    57. 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

    58. 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

    59. 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

    60. 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

    61. 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

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

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

    TEDxSophia 2016 "Harmonizing Science with Musicians"

    Sony CSL Stories (3oth year anniversary)

  • How to work at MED lab

    More about our research? www.neuropiano.net

    Research Assistant

    for students


    for students


    for PhD students/holders

  • Opportunities to Join MED Lab

    For students and post-docs

    Students & Internship

    Currently I'm NOT eligible to formally accept any new undergrad students as a supervisor at Sophia University. However, I can accept a few students who get involved in our research projects as a project-based part-time member (e.g. RA and internship who assists running experiments and data analysis). Please feel free to contact me about the details. You can join us as a part of our JST CREST project. I have/had accepted students from Tokyo Institute of Technology and pre-med student from the United States as well as a physical therapist (PT). Your workplace will be Sony CSL Tokyo.

    If your supervisor agrees with my co-supervision of your research, I'm willing to accept it. I have/had supervised 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. 3 month, 1 year) as an internship student. If you are a graduate student, I do recommend you to obtain a permission of your formal mentor. Japanese government has some fellowship for temporally-visiting scholars, which can fund your stay.


    In any case, we welcome students with basic skills and knowledge of computer programming (e.g. Matlab, R, Python) and statistics.


    If you are interested in working with us as a post-doc, please get in touch. There are several options.


    Your country may offer fellowships supporting your research activities in Japan (e.g. Alexander von Humboldt, DFG, Marie Curie, Fulbright). Also, the Japanese government (JSPS) provides a fellowship for young foreign researchers (max. 2 yrs, highly-recommended!). For German researchers, I am also eligible to be a host of "Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship" of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (the success rate is about 40%, which is higher than the others!). I have a space, equipment, and projects for post-docs in my lab (SONY CSL at Tokyo), and can provide unique opportunities of investigating a lot of expert musicians and musicians with focal dystonia. Our institute is international and we all communicate in English. You may have opportunities of networking and collaborating with research colleagues in Tokyo and Osaka.


    Post-docs are strongly encouraged to have fundamental knowledge/skill of both statistics (e.g. R) and programming (e.g. Matlab). People with experience of programming (C++, Python, Unity), haptic interface, human psychophysics, physiological measurement such as MoCap/EEG/EMG, robotics, and/or machine learning are also highly welcomed.

  • Contact Form

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