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Second Research Project on “The Relationship between Motorcycle Riding and Brain Stimulation” Begins

September 17, 2009

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announces the start of a second joint research project on the subject of the relationship between motorcycle riding and brain stimulation with Ryuta Kawashima Laboratory of the Department of Functional Brain Imaging, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer at Tohoku University (President: Akihisa Inoue; Address: 2-1-1 Katahira, Aoba Ward, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture). The project began in September 2009 and is planned to continue until December 2010. The focus of this research will be the measurement and analysis of the cause and effect relationship involved in the operation of various types of vehicles and brain stimulation and measuring the changes in such stimulation over time by means of data gathered from a long-term mass survey in the market.

The reason for Yamaha Motor's participation in this project is to further research on the relationship between motorcycle riding and brain stimulation in the context of the Ryuta Kawashima Laboratory's studies in the area of "Smart Aging Society" and hopefully connect it to vitalization of the motorcycle market. Yamaha Motor's participation in this project will include (1) providing vehicles for the research (motorcycles, etc.), (2) making its test courses available for tests, (3) soliciting test participants (test subjects) and (4) providing test staff.

The findings of the first research project in 2008 included: (1) When riding a motorcycle, the brain of the rider is stimulated; (2) Differences in brain use and level of brain stimulation can be observed in motorcyclists who ride regularly and in motorcyclists who have not ridden for extended periods; (3) Incorporating motorcycle riding into daily life improves various cognitive functions and has positive effects on mental and emotional health such as stress reduction. The second research project now begun will be divided into "Test 1" (Sept. – Oct. 2009) and "Test 2" (Oct. 2009 – Dec. 2010). In Test 1, research will survey the differences in the conditions of brain stimulation related to the type of vehicle and riding conditions and the motorcycle riding operations. Test 2 will focus on measuring the changes in this brain stimulation over time related to conditions involved, and the survey will involve a larger subject base.

< Research Outline >

[Test 1]


September – October, 2009


Sportsland SUGO (Murata Town, Shibata Gun, Miyagi Prefecture)

Measurement Equipment:


Portable optical topography test model (Advanced Research Laboratory, Hitachi, Ltd.)

Test Subjects: Presently active riders

[Test 2]


October, 2009 – December, 2010


In Tokyo and its vicinity

Verification Method:


Cognitive function tests, questionnaires regarding mental health, etc.

Test Subjects:

Buyers of motorcycles at YSP dealerships during the test period (voluntary participation)

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