Integrative Life Sciences :
Brain and Nervous System


Brain Development

Brain Development

Humans grow up under the influence of their environment and the society, and even in their adulthood, continuously change themselves according to the information they have received. Indeed, the nervous system of an animal is formed not only through the intrinsic factors such as genomic information, but also through the extrinsic factors such as environment, society or parents. It is now becoming clear that the structure and the function of the neural network of the brain plastically changes even in the adulthood. Our laboratory studies the mechanisms of how the brain develops and changes by studying how songbirds develop their skill to vocally communicate each other, how rodents learn the information, how brain function is impaired in diseases, or how gene transcription is regulated in cells. We use the experimental methods of molecular biology, cell biology, optogenetics, brain imaging, or behavioral analysis. In the future, we wish our research contribute to a better understanding of the basal mechanism of brain function, and develop remedies against brain disorders, or establish an optimal education system that improves the learning or healthier growth of a human.

Research Overview

Songbirds postnatally develop their skill to utter and to perceive vocal signals for communication. We are studying how songbirds develop their skills as a model to understand the mechanisms underlying the language development in humans. Our research is intended to reveal how animal brains plastically changes according to the perceived information. We use transgenic mouse, songbirds, and cultured neurons to unveil the molecular and cellular mechanisms of brain development and diseases.

URLs http://kntrb.org/Lab.html

Faculty Members

Professor ABE Kentaro
Development of Brain Functions
Assistant Professor AOKI Sho
Neural mechanisms underlying motor learning
Interactions among multiple learning and memory systems in the brain
Neural circuitry that enables behavioral flexibility