Nakatani, Masashi



Faculty of Environment and Information Studies (Shonan Fujisawa)


Associate Professor

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Profile 【 Display / hide

  • After receiving a Ph.D. in Information Physics and Computing in the University of Tokyo, Masashi Nakatani worked for four years in the cosmetic industry where he developed a sensor system that evaluates skin softness. He returned to academic research in the spring of 2012 and started neuroscience study of touch at Keio University in Japan and at Columbia University Medical Center in USA and uncovered physiological characteristics of Merkel cells as a light touch receptor in the skin. He is currently affiliated in Keio University and collaborate with Hokkaido University to conduct comprehensive study of skin sensation from cellular biology to human tactile perception. He also pursues to make a connection between research outcomes in academia and industry, represented by his recent collaborative activity called TECHTILE (TECHnology based tacTILE design). Currently he works on mathematical modeling of skin receptor responses to mechanical and thermal stimuli based on electrophysiological evidence.

Profile Summary 【 Display / hide

  • Haptic Scientist and Neuroscientist at Keio University. After receiving a Ph.D. in Information Physics and Computing at the University of Tokyo, Masashi Nakatani worked for four years in the cosmetic industry where he developed a sensor system that evaluates skin softness. He had been a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia University Medical Center in USA and uncovered physiological characteristics of Merkel cells as a light touch receptor in the skin (Nature 2014). He is currently affiliated in Keio University to conduct a comprehensive study of skin sensation from cellular biology to human tactile perception.

Academic Degrees 【 Display / hide

  • Ph.D. (Information science and technology), The University of Tokyo, Coursework, 2008.03


Research Areas 【 Display / hide

  • Informatics / Perceptual information processing (Haptics)

  • Life Science / Dermatology (Mechanoreceptors and Tactile sensation)

Research Keywords 【 Display / hide

  • Haptics

  • Sensor engineering

  • Peripheral Nervous System

  • Perception

  • Tactile illusion

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Books 【 Display / hide

  • 『触楽入門-はじめて世界に触れるときのように』

    NAKATANI Masashi, 朝日出版社, 2016.01

  • Pervasive Haptics, Chapter 12 (TECHTILE workshop for creating haptic content)

    Masashi Nakatani, Yasuaki Kakehi, Soichiro Mihara, Kouta Minamizawa, Susumu Tachi, Springer, 2016.01

  • 触覚認識メカニズムと応用技術-触覚センサ・触覚ディスプレイ-【増補版】

    仲谷正史,他(下条誠、前野隆司 他 編), S&T出版, 2014.03

  • 触感をつくる――《テクタイル》という考え方

    仲谷正史, 筧康明, 白土寛和, 岩波科学ライブラリー, 2011.12

  • 心理学研究法1 感覚・知覚

    仲谷正史,他(村上郁也編), 誠信書房, 2011.09

Papers 【 Display / hide

  • EXPRESS: Dark, loud, and compact sounds induce frisson

    Takuya Koumura, Masashi Nakatani, Hsin-I Liao, Hirohito M Kondo

    Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology  2020.11

    Research paper (scientific journal), Joint Work

     View Summary

    Frisson is characterized by tingling and tickling sensations with positive or negative feelings. However, it is still unknown what factors affect the intensity of frisson. We conducted experiments on the stimulus characteristics and individual's mood states and personality traits. Participants filled out self-reported questionnaires, including the Profile of Mood States, Beck Depression Inventory, and Big Five Inventory. They continuously indicated the subjective intensity of frisson throughout a 17-min experiment while listening to binaural brushing and tapping sounds through headphones. In the interviews after the experiments, participants reported that tingling and tickling sensations mainly originated on their ears, neck, shoulders, and back. Cross-correlation results showed that the intensity of frisson was closely linked to the acoustic features of auditory stimuli, including their amplitude, spectral centroid, and spectral bandwidth. This suggests that proximal sounds with dark and compact timbre trigger frisson. The peak of correlation between frisson and the acoustic feature was observed 2 s after the acoustic feature changed, suggesting that bottom-up auditory inputs modulate skin-related modalities. We also found that participants with anxiety were sensitive to frisson. Our results provide important clues to understanding the mechanisms of auditory-somatosensory interactions.

    Keywords: autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR); frisson; hearing; interaural level difference; proximal space; somatosensory.

  • Sensory words may facilitate certain haptic exploratory procedures in facial cosmetics

    Naomi Arakawa, Tomoko Watanabe, Kyoko Fukushima, Masashi Nakatani

    International Journal of Cosmetic Science  2020.11

    Research paper (scientific journal), Joint Work

     View Summary

    Objective: Many people want to have healthy facial skin. They tend to check their skin's condition by touching their face with their hands. In the cosmetic industry, we need to understand what consumers are perceiving in a tactile sense when touching their own facial skin. The purpose of this study was to investigate these observation methods in order to systematically understand people's haptic exploratory procedures (HEPs).

    Methods: Thirty-four participants living in the US and twenty-two participants living in Japan freely explored their faces and answered which side felt more closely related to the six tactile adjectives. A new analysis was applied to classify the observed HEPs into six classifications within two categories and three sizes of contact area by experts.

    Result: It was confirmed that the new task was useful to observe the HEPs for participants from US and Japan. The US participants' HEPs for "moisturized" were mainly a middle-sized contact area using a stroking motion. On the other hand, Japanese participants' HEPs for "moisturized" ("shittori" in Japanese) mainly used a pushing movement. Moreover, the US participants' HEPs for "soft" included both pushing and stroking, but Japanese participants HEPs for "soft" ("yawarakai" in Japanese) were again mainly pushing.

    Conclusion: This study suggests that the proposed analysis method enables the systematic understanding of HEPs when checking the skin, along with the cross-cultural differences affecting those procedures. These systematic findings could allow cosmetic formulators to have a better understanding of the tactile sensations consumers themselves are feeling in a variety of different global markets.

    Keywords: cosmetic cultures; effectiveness of products; hand movement; haptic exploratory procedures; sensory evaluation; sensory words.

  • Comprehensive analysis of elemental distribution in human skin using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

    Shinobu Nakanishi, Rie Kamezono, Masashi Nakatani, Mitsuhiro Denda

    Skin Research and Technology  2020.10

    Research paper (scientific journal)

  • Architected Materialを用いた感性ベースの構造デザイン手法─カスタムインソールの3Dディジタル設計に向けて─

    森田 淳, 小松 敏, 光部 貴士, 中村 和洋, 川瀬 領治, 仲谷 正史, 田中 浩也

    デジタルプラクティス 11 ( 2 ) 434 - 455 2020.04

    Research paper (scientific journal), Joint Work, Accepted

  • Proximal Binaural Sound Can Induce Subjective Frisson

    Shiori Honda, Yuri Ishikawa, Rei Konno, Eiko Imai, Natsumi Nomiyama, Kazuki Sakurada, Takuya Koumura, Hirohito M. Kondo, Shigeto Furukawa, Shinya Fujii, Masashi Nakatani

    Frontiers in Psychology (Frontiers)  11 2020.03

    Research paper (scientific journal), Joint Work, Accepted,  ISSN  1664-1078

     View Summary

    This study addressed a question whether a proximal sound recorded by a binaural microphone can induce subjective frisson (the feeling of chill), and explored possible acoustic features of the sound source. A proximal sound is one of major components of the sound that can induce autonomous sensory meridian responses (ASMR), therefore this paper also describes possible relationship between sound frisson and ASMR inducing sounds.

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Papers, etc., Registered in KOARA 【 Display / hide

Reviews, Commentaries, etc. 【 Display / hide

  • 3Dプリンタ技術を利用した触感研究の動向

    仲谷正史, 田中浩也

    高分子 67 ( 10 ) 585 - 587 2018.10

    Joint Work

  • 体性感覚に訴える立体音響体験 臨場感を「立体音響と触覚性」から語る


    Japanese Journal of Sensory Evaluation 2018 22 ( 1 ) 1 - 4 2018.04

  • Mammalian mechanoreception

    Y Moayedi, M Nakatani, E Lumpkin

    Scholarpedia of Touch, 423-435  2016

    Article, review, commentary, editorial, etc. (trade magazine, newspaper, online media), Joint Work

  • Mechanotransduction in epidermal Merkel cells

    Masashi Nakatani, Srdjan Maksimovic, Yoshichika Baba, Ellen A. Lumpkin

    Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology  467 ( 1 ) 101 - 108 2014.07

    Joint Work

  • 触感を測る 第4回 触り方と触感の関係を明らかにする


    人間生活工学 15 ( 1 ) 10 - 13 2014.03

    Single Work

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Presentations 【 Display / hide

  • Both spatial and temporal patterns of sensory afferents activity may explain the geometric perception in the fishbone tactile illusion

    Masashi Nakatani, Masaaki Uesaka, Sayako Mogami, Zixia Zhao, Takamichi Sushida, Hiroyuki Kitahata, Masaharu Nagayama

    Neuroscience 2019, Nanosymposium No. 10569, 


    Oral presentation (general)

  • Guiding Attention with Tactile Feedback

    Kazuki Sakurada and Masashi Nakatani

    World Haptics Conference 2019, Work-in-Progress, WP1P.13., 


  • The Thermal Feedback Influencer: Wearable Thermal Display for Enhancing the Experience of Music Listening

    Yuri Ishikawa, Anzu Kawazoe, George Chernyshov, Shinya Fujii, and Masashi Nakatani

    In Proceedings of AsiaHaptics 2018,, 


  • Baby Touch: quantifying visual-haptic exploratory behaviors in infants of sensory-motor development

    Kazuki Sakurada, Akari Oka, Ritsuko Kiso, Leina Shimabukuro, Aoba Ueno, Masashi Nakatani

    In Proceedings of AsiaHaptics 2018,, 


  • 3Dプリンタ技術を利用した触り心地の研究


    Conference on 4D and Functional Printing 2018, 


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Research Projects of Competitive Funds, etc. 【 Display / hide

  • Dveloping information technology for emotional reality that brings secure feeling and reduces the feeling of loneliness


    Commissioned research, Principal investigator

  • 身体や情動に訴えかけるセンシュアルな音響質感メディアの研究


    MEXT,JSPS, Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas, Principal investigator

  • AI for Baby Touch


    MEXT,JSPS, Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), Principal investigator

  • 生体触覚センサの神経生理学的な外界刺激受容特性に基づいた新規触覚センサの開発


    特別研究員奨励費, Principal investigator

  • 触覚情報取得原理の解明およびそれを利用した次世代視触覚融合型ディスプレイの研究


    特別研究員奨励費, Principal investigator

Intellectual Property Rights, etc. 【 Display / hide

  • 情報処理装置、システム、物体の製造方法、情報処理方法、及びプログラム

    Date applied: 特願2019-185354  2019.10 

    Date announced: 特開2020-059278  2019.10 

    Patent, Joint

  • 触覚情報変換装置、触覚情報変換方法、および、触覚情報変換プログラム

    Date applied: 特願2018-510679  2017.04 

    Patent, Joint

  • 触覚情報変換装置、触覚情報変換方法、および、触覚情報変換プログラム、並びに、素子配置構造体

    Date applied: 特願2018-510680  2017.04 

    Patent, Joint

  • 触覚呈示システム、触覚呈示方法、および 触覚呈示プログラム

    Date applied: 特願2017-555171  2016.12 

    Patent, Joint

  • 形状記憶合金を用いた3次元形状ディスプレイ

    Patent, Joint

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Awards 【 Display / hide

  • SICE SI 2020 Good Presentation

    Taisuke Okazaki, Yoshihiro Asano, Masashi Nakatani, Hiroya Tanaka, 2020.12, 公益社団法人 計測自動制御学会 システムインテグレーション部門, Good Presentation

    Type of Award: Award from Japanese society, conference, symposium, etc.

  • AsiaHaptics Gold Award

    2016.11, Asia Haptics 2016

  • 日本バーチャルリアリティ学会論文賞

    2015.09, 日本バーチャルリアリティ学会

  • 部門技術業績賞

    2014.12, (社) 計測自動制御学会

  • グッドデザイン賞2012

    2012.10, 公益財団法人 日本デザイン振興会

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Courses Taught 【 Display / hide











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Memberships in Academic Societies 【 Display / hide

  • Society for Neuroscience, 


Committee Experiences 【 Display / hide

  • 2018.07

    Vice Chair for Workshops and Tutorials, Technical Committee on Haptics

  • 2011.07

    Vice Chair for Public Relations, Technical Committee on Haptics

  • 2011.04

    Organizer, Tactile Research Group

  • 2010.01

    Organizer, Special Interest Group for Haptics, The Virtual Reality Society of Japan

  • 2007.10

    Organizer, Haptic Design committee, The Virtual Reality Society of Japan