Tohoku University School of Medicine

Department of Physiology

about LAB

Overview of our research

It is an important issue in the system neuroscience of higher brain functions how the voluntary movements are initiated and controled.
Recent research has revealed the existence of multiple motor areas in the cerebral cortex.
We are studying how each of these cortical motor areas contributes to the expression of voluntary movements, and the underlying mechanism that determines, programs, organizes and prepares the action to be done.
For this goal, we adopt the following approaches:
1. Electrophysiological recording of neural activity from awake, behaving primates, and analyze the temporal and spatial structure of neural signals.
2. Examination of microcircuitry in brain by either local injection of fluorescent tracers or immunohistochemistry.
3. Examination of relations between the synaptic transmission in local brain circuitry and behavior by locally injecting neuroactive substances that works on receptors.
4. Functional neuroimaging studies (fMRI) that reveal the metabolic activity in the brain when human subjects are performing various behavioral paradigms.