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.
We investigate genomes, genes, proteins, and cells to understand the evolution of all primates, including humans. Genomes provide information about chromosome evolution and population genetics. Functional genes and proteins provide information about rules that govern behavior and ecology. Cells are potential biological resources for new experimental models and for species conservation, especially in the case of stem cells. Now, using specific subjects, we focus on studying the senses, reproduction and brain development.
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.