This department aims at elucidating the structure and function of highly developed primate brains, by means of a variety of cutting-edge methodologies, to explore the mechanisms underlying motor control and cognitive behavior.
To understand the neural basis of cognitive functions such as perception, memory, emotion and communication, we adopt various techniques in our studies. We record electrical activity in the brain, such as single neuronal activity and electroencephalography, and analyze its relationships with behavior. We examine anatomical connections using tracer injections, and investigate the impacts of neurotransmitters and hormones on brain functions and behavior. We examine human brain activation in relation to cognitive functions using fMRI, and develop new experimental apparatus and
tasks to analyze the complicated behavior of primates.
This section aims to elucidate the mechanisms underlying higher brain functions, such as motor control and cognitive behavior, and to explore the pathophysiology of neurological/neuropsychiatric disorders such as Parkinson's disease. To investigate the structural and functional substrates for complex neural networks in highly developed primate brains (macaques, marmosets), we not only employ multidisciplinary approaches by integrating neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and molecular biology,
but also develop cutting-edge methodologies with viral vectors, such as gene transfer techniques to produce a variety of primate models.