Researcher Information

TANAKA Nobuaki

Associate Professor

The brain senses, therefore I am.

Department of Biological Sciences, Behavioral Neurobiology


Neural mechanisms underlying sensory perception and motor control

KeywordDrosophila melanogaster, pygmy squid, Idiosepius paradoxus, sensory processing, motor control, hormone, genetics, electrophysiology, calcium imaging, electron microscope

Introduction of Research

Our primary goal is to reveal how a neuronal circuit works as a system to process sensory inputs, and how this processing is modulated by a specific environment or by the mental state or the condition of the body. The answers to these questions would reveal how an animal displays adaptive behavior in response to a given situation that changes moment by moment, or even develops intelligent behavior to cope with a difficult situation. To study these problems in our laboratory, we are utilizing two invertebrate animals, the fly and the cephalopod.

A fly fixed to a chamber to record neural activities.
An exposed fly brain to insert the electrodes.
The smallest squid, pygmy squid.

Representative Achievements

Calcium imaging method to visualize the spatial patterns of neural responses in the pygmy squid, Idiosepius paradoxus, central nervous system. Koizumi M, Shigeno S, Mizunami M, Tanaka NK. J Neurosci Methods. 2018 Jan 15;294:67-71.
Upregulation of juvenile hormone titers in female Drosophila melanogaster through mating experiences and host food occupied by eggs and larvae. Sugime Y, Watanabe D, Yasuno Y, Shinada T, Miura T, Tanaka NK. Zoolog Sci. 2017 Feb;34(1):52-57.
Convergence of multimodal sensory pathways to the mushroom body calyx in Drosophila melanogaster. Yagi R, Mabuchi Y, Mizunami M, Tanaka NK. Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 11;6:29481.
Three-dimensional brain atlas of pygmy squid, Idiosepius paradoxus, revealing the largest relative vertical lobe system volume among the cephalopods. Koizumi M, Shigeno S, Mizunami M, Tanaka NK. J Comp Neurol. 2016 Jul 1;524(10):2142-57.
Academic degreeD. Sci.
Room addressBldg 5, Rm 1012