Tohoku University School of Medicine

Department of Physiology

Research Projects



System neuroscience (From neurons to cognitive function)  Mission of our laboratory is to understand cognitive functions from neurons. Especially we are interested in how the brain regulates behavior such as voluntary motor control, sequencing multiple movements, memory-guided and sensory-guided behaviors. Multichannel recording, optogenetic manipulations, and optical imaging technique allow us to examine how higher-cognitive functions emerge through interactions of neurons while animals are engaged in cognitive tasks. Our main targets are frontal motor areas and prefrontal areas. Brain is dynamically organized structures and shows wide range of oscillations while animals are involved in various behavior tasks and in various brain states. We studied how brain oscillations emerge and interact with each other through multichannel recordings with optogenetic interventions in transgenic animals. Our main targets are beta-gamma oscillations and their relationship with behaviors. We also develop innovative multichannel electrode in collaboration with medical engineering department. Optical up conversion technique allow us to stimulate targeti n depth of the brain through infrared light. We tried to introduce silicon-based and more flexible type of electrodes in multichannel recording. In human subjects, we tried to develop gaze-monitoring devices and pupil size monitoring devices to detect shift of attention and tones of autonomic systems. Finally we are interested in how brain science is applied to education especially fostering non-cognitive skills such as communication skills.