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Home > Introduction of our tenure-track faculties > Yokoyama Hikaru

Introduction of our tenure-track faculties

Yokoyama Hikaru

Affiliation Institute of Engineering
Division Division of Advanced Health Science
Research field Neuroscience, Motor control, Exercise physiology
Keyword(S) EEG, EMG, walking, rehabilitation
Research experience

・Apr.2018-Mar.2021: JSPS research fellow (PD)
・Apr.2021.4-2Mar.022: Research Associate, University of Tokyo
・Apr.2022-present: Associate Professor(Tenure track), Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

Educational background

・March 2013
B.Sc. in Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Fuchu, Tokyo, Japan
(Supervisor: Teruo Uetake)

・March 2015
M.Sc. in Multidisciplinary sciences, Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan (Supervisor: Kimitaka Nakazawa)

・March 2018
Ph.D. in Multidisciplinary sciences, Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan (Supervisor: Kimitaka Nakazawa


・March 2018, Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo.
March 2018, Valedictorian (PhD course of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), University of Tokyo.
・July 2017, Young Investigators Award, 22th Annual Congress of the European College of Sports Science (Germany).
・July 2017, Aftab Patla Innovation Award (Best Student Presentation Award), 2017 World Congress of International Society of Posture and Gait Research (US).

Selected papers and publications

・Yokoyama, H., Sasaki, A., Kaneko, N., Saito, A., & Nakazawa, K. (2021). Robust identification of motor unit discharges from high-density surface EMG in dynamic muscle contractions of the tibialis anterior. IEEE Access, 9, 123901-123911.
・Yokoyama, H., Kato, T, Kaneko, N., Kobayashi, H., Hoshino, M., Kokubun, T., & Nakazawa, K. (2021). Basic locomotor muscle synergies used in land walking are finely tuned during underwater walking. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 18480.
・Yokoyama, H., Kaneko, N., Watanabe, K., & Nakazawa, K. (2021). Neural decoding of gait phase information during motor imagery and improvement of the decoding accuracy by concurrent action observation. Journal of Neural Engineering, 18(4), 046099.
・Kaneko, N., Yokoyama, H., Masugi, Y., Watanabe K., & Nakazawa, N. ・(2021). Phase dependent modulation of cortical activity during action observation and motor imagery of walking: an EEG study. NeuroImage, 225, 117486.
・Yokoyama, H., Yoshida, T., Zabjek, K., Chen, R., & Masani, K. (2020). Defective corticomuscular connectivity during walking in Parkinson's disease patients. Journal of Neurophysiology, 124(5), 1399-1414.
・Takiyama, K., Yokoyama, H., Kaneko, N., & Nakazawa, K. (2020). Speed- and mode-dependent modulation of the CoM trajectory in human gaits as revealed by Lissajous curves. Journal of Biomechanics, 110, 109947.
・Yokoyama, H., Kaneko, N., Masugi, Y., Ogawa, T., Watanabe, K., & Nakazawa, K. (2020). Gait-phase-dependent and gait-phase-independent cortical activity across multiple regions involved in voluntary gait modifications in humans. European Journal of Neuroscience, 00: 1– 14.
・Takiyama, K., Yokoyama, H., Kaneko, N., & Nakazawa, K. (2020). Speed-dependent and mode-dependent modulations of spatiotemporal modules in human locomotion extracted via tensor decomposition. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 680.
・Yokoyama, H., Kaneko, N., Ogawa, T., Kawashima, N., Watanabe, K., & Nakazawa, K. (2019). Cortical correlates of locomotor muscle synergy activation in humans: an electroencephalographic decoding study.iScience, 15, 623–639.
・Yokoyama, H., Sato, K., Ogawa, T., Yamamoto, S., Nakazawa, K., & Kawashima, N. (2018). Characteristics of the gait adaptation process due to split-belt treadmill walking under a wide range of right-left speed ratios in humans. PLOS ONE, 13(4), e0194875.
・10Yokoyama, H., Ogawa, T., Shinya, M., Kawashima, N., & Nakazawa, K. (2017). Speed dependency in α-motoneuron activity and locomotor modules in human locomotion: indirect evidence for phylogenetically conserved spinal circuits. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological sciences, 284(1851), 20170290.
・Yokoyama, H., Hagio, K., Ogawa, T., & Nakazawa, K. (2017). Motor module activation sequence and topography in the spinal cord during air-stepping in human: Insights into the traveling wave in spinal locomotor circuits. Physiological Reports, 5(22), e13504.
・Yokoyama H., Ogawa T., Kawashima N., Shinya M., & Nakazawa K. (2016). Distinct sets of locomotor modules control the speed and modes of human locomotion. Scientific Reports, 6(1), 36275.

Research Description

Walking is one of the most familiar and important physical activities for us. There are more than 400 skeletal muscles in our body. Highly coordinated activities of the muscles are required to achieve a stable walking without falling. Although the muscle activities are highly complex, we can walk without being particularly conscious of our movement. This is related to the fact that walking is an essential movement for many species, including humans, and the neural circuits to automatically generates walking movement patterns have been acquired and preserved in the human nervous system during evolution. Traditionally, evidence of neural control of walking have been revealed in animal studies. However, humans have a unique gait pattern, a bipedal upright gait, and the neural control pattern of this gait is different from that of other animals.
Therefore, I have been studying the neural control mechanisms of human walking using non-invasive neural recordings such as electroencephalography and electromyography. In particular, I have focused on the involvement of the cerebral cortex in walking control, which is a unique characteristic of human bipedal upright walking. Recently, we have also been conducted studies on neuromuscular control mechanisms at the level of single motor neurons using high-density surface EMG, the pathophysiology of gait disorders in spinal cord injury patients and Parkinson's disease patients, and decoding motor information of walking from EEG for future engineering applications (Figure 1 [overall view of research]).

The PDF file can be downloaded from URL

About TUAT's tenure-track program

First of all, I was surprised at the very young age of the tenure-track associate professors who were hired at the same time, including myself. I think that the tenure-track program of TUAT, which gives young researchers a valuable opportunity to manage their own laboratories, is a program that could make a great contribution to the scientific community in terms of fostering future researchers. I feel that the TUAT tenure-track program is a very favorable environment for young researchers to establish and run their own independent laboratories with the support of mentor faculty members and start-up funds. Researchers around me also mentioned that the tenure-track researchers at TUAT are very fortunate and provided with a wonderful environment in which they can concentrate on their research.

Future aspirations

I will focus on setting up my laboratory and preparing the research environment. During the tenure-track period, I will be able to concentrate on my research activities as much as I want. Up to now, I have mainly conducted physiological research, but now that I belong to the Institute of Engineering, I would like to conduct research aiming at applying my research to the rehabilitation of walking. In addition, there are excellent researchers at TUAT who specialize in robotics and information science and conduct research related to human movement, so I would be happy to conduct joint research with them.