Science of Music Performance   

Current Position
Associate Researcher, SONY Computer Science Laboratory (CSL), Tokyo, Japan

Director, Musical Skill and Injury Center (MuSIC), Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan (lab website)

Guest Professor, Institute for Music Physiology and Musicians' Medicine, Hannover University of Music and Drama

Research Goal

My research goal is to elucidate mechanisms underlying interaction between neuroplasticity and practice. Our brain can change its function and structure according to a history of sensory, motor, and cognitive practice (i.e. plasticity). My interest is how this mechanism mediates acquisition of highly-skilled motor behaviors (i.e. virtuosity) and loss of dexterous motor skills. To study musicians provides a unique and ideal opportunity to resolve this issue, because they commence musical practice from an early age and undergo extensive musical practice every day over years. Through extensive musical practice, musicians can perform exceptionally fast and accurate movements; however, sometimes they develop overuse syndromes, such as tendonitis, tremor, and focal dystonia.

I study both extremes of sensorimotor skills using a variety of research techniques, such as motion capture (data glove, high-speed cameras), electromyography (EMG), non-invasive brain stimulation (tDCS, TMS), and neuroimaging (fMRI), together with "data science" techniques (computational model, multivariate analysis, machine learning).  My preferred research approach is "reverse engineering", which tries to elucidate neural and biomechanical principles governing skilled and disordered movements through probing the motor behaviors based on these measurement and analytical techniques. 

I myself also pursue to create a world where everyone can realize the desired musical expression in piano performance without suffering from any physical problems and injuries, because I'm a pianist. Therefore I'm also curious about developing optimal motor practicing and rehabilitation programm for musicians. 

Publication    Details

Subjects of Research    Details

* Sensorimotor control and learning of musical performance
    - Multi-joint arm movements
Dexterous finger movements
Neuro-rehabilitation of focal dystonia
Sensory-motor integration
* Prevention & rehabilitation of musicians' injuries 
    - Epidemiology & preventive medicine
    - Biomechanics 

    Physical education and retraining 
Quantitative clinical diagnosis

Motion-capture (2D & 3D), Electromyography (surface EMG), Robotics (inverse and forward dynamics computations), Transcranial Stimulation (tDCS, TMS), Control and measurement of instruments (AD board, serial port & USB, MIDI devise), Programming (MATLAB, R, LabVIEW, Python), Statistics and Machine Learning (basic statistics, multivariant analysis, feature extraction, cluster analysis, Monte Carlo computation)

  2014-2017 Associate Professor, Faculty of Science and Technology, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan

  2011-2014 Post-doctoral Fellow, Institute for Music Physiology and Musicians' Medicine, Hannover University of Music and Drama, Germany

  2009-2011  Post-doctoral Associate, Department of Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, USA

  2008-2009  Post-doctoral Associate, Research Center for Human Media, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan

Educational Background
  2008: PhD in Medical Sciences,  Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University
   "The effect of long-term training on control strategies of the multi-joint arm movement in piano keystroke"
  2004: Master of Human Science,  Graduate School of Human Science, Osaka University
   "A biomechanical analysis of upper extremity movement during repetitive striking of octave keys by expert pianists"
  2002: Bachelor of Engineering,  School of Engineering Science, Osaka University
Chaos prediction in discrete and continuous dynamic systems"

  1980: Born in Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan

Teaching Experience  

When I was a student in Japan, I had been teaching several classes at universities and colleges, which include Motor Control, Biomechanics, Basic Anatomy and Physiology, and Health Science. In 2009, I was awarded as one of the most prominent lecturers at Osaka University. In Germany, I taught sensory-motor control and learning at a class called "Neuroscience of Music" at Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media for various students who study music, neuroscience, and medicine. In addition, I have given a lot of invited lectures at universities, music conservatories, and research institutes in Japan, USA, UK, Switzerland, Netherland, and Germany. At Sophia University, I was teaching electric circuit, neural network, statistics and machine learning, control theory, computer architecture, and brain plasticity.

Academic activity  

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