Director: Kazuhiko Seki

Kazuhiko Seki


Dr. Seki received his Ph.D. in the department of basic medical sciences of Tsukuba University in 1998. He spent four years in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, and Washington National Primate center, Seattle,WA, USA as a HFSP long-term fellow (supervisor: Prof. Eberhard E.Fetz). From 2002 he worked at the department of developmental physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Japan as a assistant professor (Head: Prof. Tadashi ISA). Then, he has been moved to the Department of Neurophysiology of NCNP as director of department in October 2009. He is also a JST (PREST) researcher ( from 2008 to 2015.

Fields of specialization: Neurophysiology/ Systems Neuroscience

Research Interests

Motor command in the cortex execute and control voluntary movement by generating, timely, coordinated activity of multiple muscles through a number of cortical and subcortical circuit in the central nervous system (CNS). Then, executed voluntary movements stimulate sensory receptor and generate sensory signal that integrated into the motor command, not only produce the movement perception. My research interest is on the neural mechanism for selecting and regulating muscle(s) and its activity that is appropriate for control the intended movement in precise manner. Specifically, we are currently investigating how the multiple premotor systems in the CNS accomplishes this task in a cellular resolution. We are also interested in the mechanism how the sensory activity induced by voluntary movement are extracted/attenuated in the process to integrate them into motor command. Specifically, we are currently investigating the neural mechanism of information selection at the first sensory relay (e.g. Spinal cord or brainstem) and its behavioral relevance and relative contribution between reafference and descending command for generating muscle activity during voluntary movement. We have also started to explore the mechanism supporting plasticity of these sensorimotor systems. Long-term perturbation to this system is known to activate surrounding system to restore appropriate movement. We are establishing an experimental design and animal model that could be applicable to study neural plasticity after the purtubation. We are aiming to extent these research to the clinically relevant findings. By establishing the primate model human disease exhibiting movement disorder, we will be able to study the contribution of sensorimotor system as described for understanding these disease. For this purpose, we are developing a primate model of Stroke and neurodegenerative disease like Dominant Spinocerebellar Ataxias (SCA).

Recent Publications

  • Takei T, Seki K: Synaptic and functional linkages between spinal premotor interneurons and hand-muscle activity during precision grip.
    Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. 7:40, 2013
  • Takei T, Seki K: Spinal premotor interneurons mediate dynamic and static motor commands for precision grip in monkeys. 
    The Journal of Neuroscience. 33:8850-60, 2013
  • Ishibashi H, Motohashi HH, Kumon M, Yamamoto K, Okada H, Okada T, Seki K: Effect of the size of zona pellucida opening on hatching in the common marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus) embryo. Animal Science Journal. 84(11):740-743. 2013
  • Hidetoshi Ishibashi, Hideyuki H. Motohashi, Mami Kumon, Kazuhiro Yamamoto,
    Hironori Okada, Takashi Okada, Kazuhiko Seki: Ultrasound-guided non-surgical embryo collection in the common marmoset.
    Reproductive Biology, 13(2):139-144, 2013
  • Ishibashi H, Motohashi HH, Kumon M, Yamamoto K, Okada H, Okada T, Seki K: Efficient embryo transfer in the common marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus) with a reduced transfer volume: a non-surgical approach with cryo-preserved late-stage embryos.
    Biology of Reproduction. 88(5):115, 2013
  • Seki K, and Fetz EE: Gating of Sensory Input at Spinal and Cortical Levels during Preparation and Execution of Voluntary Movement. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(3): 890-902, Jan., 2012.
  • Jonas B Zimmermann, Seki K, Andrew Jackson.: Reanimating the arm and hand with intraspinal microstimulation. J. Neural Eng. 8(5). 054001, Aug, 2011.
  • Seki K, Perlmutter, S.I. , Fetz E.E.:Task-dependent modulation of primary afferent depolarization in cervical spinal cord of monkeys performing an instructed delay task. J. Neurophysiol, 102: 85-99, 2009.
  • Takei T, Seki K:Spinomuscular coherence in monkeys performing a precision grip task.Journal of neurophysiology 99, 2012-20, 2008.
  • Seki K, Kizuka T, Yamada H:Reduction in maximal firing rate of motoneurons after 1-week immobilization of finger muscle in human subjects. Official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology 17, 113-20, 2007.

Self Introduction