My main research interests are adaptive animal behaviors and their underlying neural mechanism, particularly in insects. I address this theme by using behavioral, genetic and physiological approaches. Currently I focus on neural circuitry that realizes olfactory learning in fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster. I expect this powerful model organism would help me to understand fundamental principles of nervous system that govern behavioral plasticity of animals.
Graduated, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Tohoku University; completed doctoral course and obtained doctorate (Life Sciences), Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University.
|Activities in Academic Societies||
The Japanese Society for Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry The Zoological Society of Japan Japanese Drosophila Research Conference International Society for Neuroethology
Advanced Integrative Life Sciences I (Brain and Nervous System), Advanced Cell Biology
By using behavioral genetic approach, we are conducting functional dissection of a cluster of dopamine neurons which convey reward upon learning in Drosophila. Recently, we have discovered two independent subgroups of dopamine neurons which induce appetitive short-term and long-term memories, respectively. Currently, we are trying to uncover how these dopamine neurons act during learning to from appetitive memory. Fig.1 Subsets of dopamine neurons which induce appetitive short-term (stm-PAM, left magenta & middle）and long-term memory（ltm-PAM left green & right）, respectively (after Yamagata et al., PNAS, 2015). White shadows depict the shape of the mushroom body, where associative learning takes place in an insect brain.