Department of Developmental Biology and Neurosciences
Division of Neuroscience

Laboratory of Neuroethology

Hiromu Tanimoto
Campus Katahira Campus
Research field Neuroethology
Telephone 022-217-6223

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The Laboratory of Neuroethology is a new laboratory transferred from the Max Planck Institute in Germany. If you are interested in joining our lab, I encourage you to contact us.

1997 BSc: Department of Chemistry, Tokyo Metropolitan University. Supervised by Dr. H. Kaji and Prof. T. Isobe.
1999 MSc: Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, University of Tokyo. Supervised by Prof. T. Tabata.
2002 PhD: Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, University of Tokyo. Supervised by Prof. T. Tabata.


Postdoc: Department of Genetics and Neurobiology, University of Wuerzburg . Supervised by Prof. M. Heisenberg.
2006-2007 Group Leader of Emmy-Noether Programme (DFG) at Department of Genetics and Neurobiology, University of Wuerzburg
2008-2013 Max-Planck Research Group Leader at the Max-Planck Institute of Neurobiology
Selected Publications


Rohwedder A, Wenz NL, Stehle B, Huser A, Yamagata N, Zlatic M, Truman JW, Tanimoto H, Saumweber T, Gerber B, Thum AS. (2016) Four Individually Identified Paired Dopamine Neurons Signal Reward in Larval Drosophila. Curr Biol. pii: S0960-9822(16)00062-2.
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.01.012.

Thoma V, Knapek S, Arai S, Hartl M, Kohsaka H, Sirigrivatanawong P, Abe A, Hashimoto K, Tanimoto H. (2016) Functional dissociation in sweet taste receptor neurons between and within taste organs of Drosophila. Nat Commun 7:10678.
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10678.


Ichinose T, Aso Y, Yamagata N, Abe A, Rubin GM, Tanimoto H. (2015) Reward signal in a recurrent circuit drives appetitive long-term memory formation. Elife 4:e10719. 

Nehrkorn J, Tanimoto H, Herz AV, Yarali A. (2015) A model for non-monotonic intensity coding. R Soc Open Sci. 2(5):150120.

Vogt K, Yarali A, Tanimoto H. (2015) Reversing stimulus timing in visual conditioning leads to memories with opposite valence in Drosophia. PLoS One, 10(10):e0139797.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139797.

Appel M, Scholz CJ, Müller T, Dittrich M, König C, Bockstaller M, Oguz T, Khalili A, Antwi-Adjei E, Shauer T, Margulies C, Tanimoto H, Yarali A. Genome-Wide Association Analyses Point to Candidate Genes for Eletric Shock Avoidance in Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS One, 2015, 18:10(5):e0126986.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126986.

Yamagata N, Ichinose T, Aso Y, Plaçais PY, Friedrich AB, Sima R, Preat T, Rubin GM, Tanimoto H. Distinct dopamine neurons mediate reward signals for short- and long-term memories. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015. 112(2): 578-83. 


Aso Y, Sitaraman D, Ichinose T, Kaun K, Vogt K, Belliart-Guérin G, Plaçais PY, Robie A, Yamagata N, Schnaitmann C, Rowell W, Johnston R, Ngo T, Chen N, Korff W, Nitabach M, Heberlein U, Preat T, Branson K, Tanimoto H, Rubin G. (2014) Mushroom body output neurons encode valence and guide memory-based action selection in Drosophila. eLife 3:e04580.

Aso Y, Hattori D, Yu Y, Johnston R, Iyer N, Ngo T, Dionne H, Abbott L, Axel R, Tanimoto H, Rubin G. (2014) The neuronal architecture of the mushroom body provides a logic for associative learning.eLife 3:e04580.

Vogt K, Schnaitmann C, Dylla K, Knapek S, Aso Y, Rubin GM, Tanimoto H (2014).Shared mushroom body circuits operate visual and olfactory memories in Drosophila. eLife DOI: 3:e02395.

Galili DS, Dylla KV,  Lüdke A, Friedrich AB,  Yamagata  N, Wong JY, Ho CH, Szyszka P, Tanimoto H. (2014). Converging circuits for temperature and shock mediate aversive olfactory conditioning in Drosophila. Curr Biol 24: 1712-22


Schnaitmann C, Garbers C, Wachtler T, Tanimoto H.(2013) Color discrimination with broadband photoreceptors. Curr Biol 23:2375-8214.

Plaçais PY, Trannoy S, Friedrich AB, Tanimoto H, Preat T. (2013)Two pairs of mushroom body efferent neurons are required for appetitive long-term memory retrieval in Drosophila. Cell Rep 5:769-80

Dylla K, Galili DS, Szyszka P, Luedke (2013). A Trace conditioning in insects - Keep the trace! Fron Physiol, doi: 10.3389

Knapek S, Kahsai L, Winther AM, Tanimoto H, Nässel DR (2013). Short neuropeptide F acts as a functional neuromodulator for olfactory memory in Kenyon cells of Drosophila mushroom bodies. J Neurosci 33: 5340-5.35

Gruber F, Knapek S, Fujita M, Matsuo K, Bräcker L, Shinzato N, Siwanowicz I, Tanimura T, Tanimoto H (2013). Suppression of conditioned odor approach by feeding is independent of taste and nutritional values in Drosophila. Curr Biol 23: 507-14



Ueno T, Tomita J, Tanimoto H, Endo K, Ito K, Kume S, Kume K (2012). Identification of a dopamine pathway that regulates sleep and arousal in Drosophila. Nat Neurosci 15: 1516–1523

Liu C, Placais PY, Yamagata N, Pfeiffer BD, Aso Y, Friedrich AB, Siwanowicz I, Rubin GM, Preat T, Tanimoto H (2012). A subset of dopamine neurons signals reward for odour memory in Drosophila. Nature 488: 512-6

Aso Y, Herb A, Ogueta M, Siwanowicz I, Friedrich AB, Templier T, Ito K, Scholz H, Tanimoto H (2012). Three dopamine pathways induce aversive odor memories with different stability. PLoS Genetics 8:e1002768

Yarali A, Nehrkorn J, Tanimoto H, Herz AVM (2012). Event timing in associative learning: From biochemical reaction dynamics to behavioural observations. PLoS One 7:e32885

Plaçais PY, Trannoy S, Isabel G, Aso Y, Siwanowicz I, Belliart-Guérin G, Vernier P, Birman S, Tanimoto H, Preat T (2012). Slow oscillations in two pairs of dopaminergic neurons gate long-term memory formation in Drosophila. Nature Neurosci 15: 592-9

Butcher NJ, Friedrich AB, Lu Z, Tanimoto H, Meinertzhagen IA (2012). Different classes of input and output neurons reveal new features in microglomeruli of the adult Drosophila mushroom body calyx. J Comp Neurol 520: 2185-201



Tomita J, Mitsuyoshi M, Ueno T, Aso Y, Tanimoto H, Nakai Y, Aigaki T, Kume S, Kume K (2011). Pan-neuronal knockdown of calcineurin reduces sleep in the fruit fly Drosophila. J Neurosci 31: 13137-13146

Eschbach C, Vogt K, Schmuker M, Gerber B (2011). The Similarity between Odors and Their Binary Mixtures in Drosophila. Chem Senses, epub doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjr016

Séjourné J, Plaçais PY, Aso Y, Siwanowicz I, Trannoy S, Thoma V, Tedjakumala SR, Rubin GM, Tchénio P, Ito K, Isabel G, Tanimoto H, Préat T (2011). Mushroom Body Efferent Neurons Responsible For  Aversive Olfactory Memory Retrieval In Drosophila. Nature Neurosci 14: 903-10

Galili DS, Lüdke A, Galizia CG, Szyszka P, Tanimoto H (2011). Olfactory trace conditioning in Drosophila. J Neurosci 31: 7240-7248

Michels B, Chen YC, Saumweber T, Mishra D, Tanimoto H, Schmid B, Engman O, Gerber B (2011). Cellular Site and Molecular Mode of Synapsin Action in Associative Learning. Learn Mem 18: 332-44

Knapek S, Sigrist SJ, Tanimoto H (2011). Bruchpilot, a synaptic active zone protein for anesthesia-resistant memory. J Neurosci 31: 3453-3458



Yarali A, Gerber B (2010). A neurogenetic dissociation between punishment-, reward- and relief learning in Drosophila. Front Behav Neurosci 4: 189

Aso Y, Siwanowicz I, Bräcker L, Ito K, Kitamoto T, Tanimoto H (2010). Specific Dopaminergic Neurons for the Formation of Labile Aversive Memory. Curr Biol 20: 1445-1451

Andreatta M, Muehlberger A, Yarali A, Gerber B, Pauli P (2010). A rift between implicit and explicit condituined valence in human pain relief learning. Proc Biol Sci 277: 2411-2416

Schnaitmann C, Vogt K, Triphan T, Tanimoto H (2010). Appetitive and aversive visual learning in freely moving Drosophila. Front Behav Neurosci 4: 10

Busch S, Tanimoto H (2010). Cellular  configuration of single octopamine neurons in Drosophila. J Comp Neurol 518: 2355-2364

Knapek S, Gerber B, Tanimoto H (2010). Synapsin is selectively required for anesthesia-sensitive memory. Learn Mem 17: 76-79



Busch S, Selcho M, Ito K, Tanimoto H (2009). A map of octopaminergic neurons in the Drosophila brain. J Comp Neurol 513: 643-667

Aso Y, Grübel K, Busch S, Friedrich AB, Siwanowicz I, Tanimoto H (2009). The mushroom body of adult Drosophila characterized by GAL4 drivers. J Neurogenet 23: 156-172

Tanimoto H (2009). Genetic analysis of the neuronal circuit underlying olfactory memory in Drosophila [Japanese]. Molecular Entomology - Insect science in the postgenomic era. Tokyo, Japan: Kyoritsu Shuppan



Yarali A, Niewalda T, Chen Y C, Tanimoto H, Duerrnagel S, Gerber B (2008). Pain relief learning in fruit flies. Anim Behav 76(4): 1173-1185

Tanaka NK, Tanimoto H, Ito K (2008) Neuronal assemblies of the Drosophila mushroom body. J Comp Neurol 508: 711-755



Tanimoto H, Suzuki T (2007). Meeting report: JDRC 8: History, Neurobiology and Imaging. Fly 1: 291-293

Thum AS, Jenett A, Ito K, Heisenberg M, Tanimoto H (2007). Multiple memory traces for olfactory reward learning in Drosophila. J Neurosci 27: 11132-11138

Suh GS, Ben-Tabou de Leon S, Tanimoto H, Fiala A, Benzer S, Anderson DJ (2007). Light activation of an innate olfactory avoidance response in Drosophila. Current Biol 17: 905-908


Advanced Lecture on Developmental Biology and Neurosciences, Advanced Cell Biology I, Advanced Lecture on Neuroethology

Recent Activities

Refer to the papers listed above for details of our recent progress.

Message to Students

Inquiries and applications for positions at all levels (e.g. internship, part-time lab managers/technicians, graduate students, and postdocs) are welcome at any time.  As we are always exploring diverse research directions, your background does not necessarily match our research focus.  Availability of financial support is however not always guaranteed; you are encouraged to seek your own funding.