• Welcome to "Musical Dynaformics" lab!

    Musical Expertise & Disorders Research, Development, Deployment

  • Our Pipeline circulating Research, Development, Deployment

    Musical Dynaformics is a discipline for understanding neurophysiological, biomechanical, and psychological principles behind acquisition, sophistication, loss, and restoration of musical expertise and excellence. The goals of "Musical Dynaformics" are thus both to support for musicians to produce a variety of musical expression and to prevent development of injuries triggered by music practicing (e.g. musician's dystonia). To achieve these two key goals requires elucidating and developing the optimal ways of creating one's desired musical expression, through a cross-disciplinary approach making a synergy between neuroscience, biomechanics, robotics, psychology, cognitive science, informatics, and physiology,


    Outcomes of the research and development on Musical Dynaformics are complied into our physical education program; "PEAC" (Physical Education for Artists Curriculum). This educational package consists of lectures, coaching, and technology-based supports for musicians. Both lectures and coaching are based on evidences derived from research and scientific theories, whereas tech-based physical supports make use of our states-of-art sensing & training systems developed by our group and others.


    The PEAC program is deployed into our academy program hosted by Sony CSL and others. Also, a part of the PEAC program has been and are ready for being provided to music conservatories in different countries.


    The details of our pipeline circulating research, development, and deployment are summarized here.

    Our Pipeline

    Circulating Research, Development, Education

    Virtuosity Science

    Sensorimotor skills for musical excellence

    Optimal Musical Practice

    Neural, Biomechanical, & Cognitive Mechanisms

    Body-Machine-Computer Interface

    probing & Boosting Musicians' expertise

    Dark-Side of Music Practice

    Pathophysiology &Pathology of musicians' disorders


    Rehab. & Retraining for musicians' disorders

    Performance Anxiety

    Mechanism & Training for Choking Under Pressure of musicians

  • Research Topics

    Extremes of Human Sensorimotor Skills

    ”Beyond Virtuosity"

    Neuromuscular Skills

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

    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, Hand exoskeleton (soft and hard), Multimodal biofeedback, Haptic Interface, VR/AR training

    Sensory-Motor Integration

    Psychophysics, Sensory assessment, Multimodal integration, EEG, TMS, peripheral nerve stimulation, Perceptual Learning

    Injury Prevention & Retraining

    Epidemiology, Biomechanics, Intervention, Rehabilitation, Exoskeleton, Haptic device, Machine Learning

    Focal Dystonia, Tremor, Chronic Pain

    tDCS, TMS, EEG, Machine Learning, Multivariate analysis, Hand exo-skeleton

  • Our Team

    Current member and Alumni


    Sensorimotor control & learning in musical performance

    Postdoctoral Associate

    Neuro-engineering for boosting musicians' skills

    Postdoctoral Fellow (JSPS PD)

    Neuroplasticity of somatosensory-motor skills

    Expert Engineer

    Development of HW/SW for evaluating and enhancing experts' expertise



    PhD student (D1) JSPS DC1

    Biomechanics & neurophysiology of finger dexterity

    Sachiko SHIOTANI

    Physical Therapist (PT)

    Somatosensory retraining for musicians' dystonia


    graduate from Sophia University



    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, JSPS DC1 (2015~2019)

    Metaplasticity of auditory-motor system in musicians



    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



    Bachelor (2016~2017)

    Online visuomotor coordination in musical performance



    Bachelor (2015~2016)

    Impacts of variable practice on muscular synergy in musical performance



    Bachelor (2015~2016)

    Hand synergy in musician's dystonia



    Bachelor (2014~2016)

    Development of piano-embedded sensors



    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. Shinichi Furuya, Reiko Ishimaru, Takanori Oku, Noriko Nagata.: Back to feedback: aberrant sensorimotor control in music performance under pressure. (under review)

    2. Yudai Kimoto, Masato Hirano, Shinichi Furuya.: Adaptation of the corticomuscular and biomechanical systems of musicians. (under review)

    3. Masato Hirano, Shinichi Furuya.: Non-uniform multimodal interactions of auditory and somatosensory information in expert musicians. (under review)

    4. Shinichi Furuya*, Reiko Ishimaru*, Noriko Nagata.: Classification of music performance anxiety. (in revision)

    5. Masato Hirano, Muzuha Sakurada, Shinichi Furuya.: Overcoming the ceiling effects of experts’ motor expertise through somatosensory training. Science Advances, 2020 (in press)

    6. Nobuhiro Takahashi, Shinichi Furuya, Hideki Koike.: Soft exoskeleton glove with human anatomical architecture: production of dexterous finger movements and skillful piano performance. IEEE Transaction on Haptics, 2020 (in press)

    7. Shinichi Furuya, Takanori Oku, Yudai Kimoto, Hayato Nishioka, Masato Hirano.: Skillful and pathological movement coordination in musical performance. Advances in Exercise & Sports Physiology 26(2) 23-26, 2020

    8. Shinichi Furuya*, André Lee*, Takanori Oku, Eckart Altenmüller.: Aberrant somatosensory-motor adaptation in musicians' dystonia. Movement Disorders 35(5): 808-815, 2020

    9. Masato Hirano, Yudai Kimoto, Shinichi Furuya.: Specialized somatosensory-motor integration functions in musicians. Cerebral Cortex 30(3): 1148-1158, 2020

    10. Yudai Kimoto, Takanori Oku, Shinichi Furuya.: Neuromuscular and biomechanical functions subserving finger dexterity in musicians. Scientific Reports 9:12224, 2019

    11. Takanori Oku, Shinichi Furuya.: Neuromuscular incoordination in musicians' dystonia. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 65: 97-104, 2019

    12. 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

    13. 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

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

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

    16. 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

    17. 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

    18. 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

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

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

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

    22. 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

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

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

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

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

    27. 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

    28. 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

    29. 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

    30. 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

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

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

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

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

    35. 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

    36. 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

    37. 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

    38. 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

    39. 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

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

    41. 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

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

    43. 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

    44. 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

    45. 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

    46. 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

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

    48. 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

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

    50. 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

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

    52. 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

    53. 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

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

    55. 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

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

    57. 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

    58. 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

    59. 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

    60. 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

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

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

    63. 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

    64. 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

    65. 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

    66. 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

    67. 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

    68. 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

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

  • On Media

    Introduction of "Musical Dynaformics" on Sony Stories

    Musical Dynaformics: R&D for enhancing expertise and preventing injury

    Technology-based support for musicians by PEAC

    PEAC: Physical Education for Artists Curriculum

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

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

    Sony CSL Stories (3oth year anniversary)

    An overview of activities of Sony CSL incl. a brief introduction of our research

    TEDxSophia 2016 "Harmonizing Science with Musicians"

  • Interested in working at MED lab?

    More about our research? www.neuropiano.net

    Research Assistant

    for students


    for students & postdocs


    for PhD students/holders

  • Opportunities to Join MED Lab

    For students and post-docs

    Students & Internship

    Please make sure that currently I'm NOT eligible to formally accept any new undergrad students as a supervisor at Sophia University.


    However, I CAN accept some students who get involved in our research projects as a paid project-based part-time member (e.g. RA and internship who assists running experiments and data analysis as well as other research-related activities). The part-time members are required to have some expertise (e.g. programming), and will be selected through our screening process. Please feel free to contact me about the details. You can join us as a part of our JST CREST project or Sony CSL internship program. I have/had accepted students from Tokyo Institute of Technology and the University of Tokyo, pre-med student from the United States, students from University of London Goldsmiths, and a physical therapist (PT). Your workplace will be Sony CSL Tokyo. I will provide financial supports based on your expertise and what projects you get involved in.


    If your supervisor formally agrees with my co-supervision of your research, I'm willing to accept it based on mutual consent. I have/had supervised students from different universities in this way (e.g. Kwansei Gakuin University, Hannover Medical University, Sophia University). Currently, I have been supervising 2 PhD students.


    If you are an international student/scholar, you can also work with us temporarily (e.g. 3-6 months) as an internship student/scholar. If you are a graduate student, I do recommend you to obtain a permission of your formal mentor. Our company, Sony CSL, has an international internship program covering cost of your flight and accommodation (there's a max. limit of the coverage), which you may want to apply for (email here). Also, Japanese government has some fellowships for temporally-visiting scholars, which can fund your trip and stay (e.g. JSPS).


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


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

    First, we are currently seeking for 1 or 2 postdoc researchers who study a novel training for surmounting the limits of expertise of expert pianists. The target expertise includes sensorimotor skills for creating a variety of movement repertories and robust recall of motor memory against choking under pressure, but is not limited to these. If you are interested in, please contact us. The workplace will be Sony CSL Tokyo, and our company will support your moving and finding your living place (e.g. apartment).


    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!). A big advantage of German researchers is that I am also eligible to be a host of "Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship" of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (the success rate is ~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 with neurophysiological, robotic, and psychophysic techniques. Our institute has many international scholars and all of the researchers and staffs communicate in English. You may have opportunities of networking and collaborating with our research colleagues in Tokyo and Osaka, because I have some grants collaborating with the other scholars with different expertise.


    Post-docs are strongly encouraged to have fundamental knowledge/skill of both statistics (e.g. R) and programming (e.g. Matlab, Python). People with experience of programming (C++, C#, JAVA, Python, and/or Unity), haptic interface, human psychophysics, physiological measurement such as TMS/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.