FY2020 Annual Report

Neural Circuit Unit
Professor Yutaka Yoshida


The Neural Circuit Unit is interested in understanding neural circuits to control motor behaviors including locomotion and skilled movements. The Unit primarily focuses on formation, function, and regeneration of motor circuits using a variety of techniques such as optogenetics, electrophysiology, molecular biology, and mouse genetics.

1. Staff

  • Yutaka Yoshida, Professor
  • Kumiko Saitou, Postdoctoral Scholar
  • Akihiro Furuya, Postdoctoral Scholar (-March, 2021)
  • Nedjeljka Ivica, Postdoctoral Scholar (-December, 2020)
  • Tomoe Owan, Research Unit Administrator

2. Collaborations

2.1 Evolutionarily distinct, species-specific motor circuits

  • Description: comparison of mRNAs in neurons within motor circuits between rodents and primates
  • Type of collaboration: Joint research
  • Researchers:
    • Professor Masahiko Takada, the Primate Research Institute of the Kyoto University

2.2 To understand how motor circuits are activated during motor behaviors

  • Description: Measuring of neural activity during motor behaviors
  • Type of collaboration: Joint research
  • Researchers:
    • Professor Kenichi Ohki, University of Tokyo

3. Activities and Findings

How species-specific neural circuits are formed during development remains largely unknow. We have been focusing on corticospinal circuits which are different between primates and rodents. We are in the process of collecting mRNAs from mouse and primate corticospinal neurons for single cell RNA-seq.This project will reveal how corticospinal circuits are differentially formed between mice and primates.


4. Publications

4.1 Journals

Nothing to report

4.2 Books and other one-time publications

Nothing to report

4.3 Oral and Poster Presentations

Nothing to report

5. Intellectual Property Rights and Other Specific Achievements

Nothing to report

6. Meetings and Events

Nothing to report

7. Other

Nothing to report.