Research groups

Group of Neural Circuit
(Section of Nagoya Research Center for Brain & Neural Circuits)

The human brain is a highly complex information processing system that integrates multiple dimensions of external and internal information into a specific output. Therefore, understanding the mechanism behind this processing is crucial to learn how the brain allows us to make decisions, have feelings, and behave according to situations. However, even the basics of how the myriad of neural circuits in the brain intertwine and function remain unknown. Our main purpose is to deepen our understandings of these basic principles and how neural circuits function. In order to elucidate this question, the fruit flies are used as they have the ability to perform a multitude of complex behaviors and have a relatively small brain, allowing analysis at a resolution of a single neuron.

The ability to distinguish conspecifics from heterospecifics and males from females is an important ability for the fly to find an appropriate partner. To do this, flies listen to species specific “courtship songs” emitted by male flies and sense pheromones innately on the fly’s body surface. We are interested in how the sound and chemical stimuli are processed in the brain to allow this differentiation of species and gender. We are also interested in how experiences change the way flies behave. It is known that the receptivity of copulation of a female fly would increase in proportion to the time the male fly courts to her, and that when a male gets rejected by a female, his courtship behavior would substantially decrease. However, the exact changes that occur in the neuronal level due to these experiences is still unclear, we aim to unravel this underlying mechanism. In addition, we also conduct connectome analysis of auditory neural circuits and develop novel experimental tools to trace neural circuits.

By using knowledge from many different fields such as neuroanatomy, neuroethology, molecular biology, molecular genetics, and computer science, we aim to advance our research and discover basic principles and mechanisms of the neural circuit.

Auditory neurons in the fly brain.44 types of neurons that innervate the primary auditory center in the fly brain are registered to a template brain.
Automatic tracking of behavior. Fruit flies exposed to the courtship song increase their locomotor activity dramatically.
Courtship behavior of fruit flies.
Section Section of Nagoya Research Center for Brain & Neural Circuits
Group Group of Neural Circuit
Director Azusa Kamikouchi, Ph.D.
Contact
Links
  1. Group of Neural Circuit Kamikouchi lab