Neural Basis of Perception
Team Leader : Naoya Takahashi
Naoya Takahashi received his PhD at the University of Tokyo (advisor: Prof. Yuji Ikegaya), studying spatial organization of synaptic inputs in dendrites. He moved to Berlin for his postdoc at the laboratory Prof. Matthew Larkum (Humboldt University), where he studied active roles of cortical neuron dendrites in somatosensory processing. As a recipient of the Grass Fellowship in 2018, he worked as a summer investigator at the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, MA).
Since 2020, he is a team leader at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience (IINS). By combining a wide range of tools and methods in neurophysiology and behavioral neuroscience, his team aims to understand cellular and circuit mechanisms that controls tactile perception in mice.
Attention and contextual knowledge are prerequisites for optimal perception and decision making. The overarching goal of our lab is to identify the neuronal mechanisms underlying cognitive control and contextual modulation of perception and behavioral actions.
Towards this goal, our team focuses on tactile sensation, one of the most predominant sensory modalities in rodents to perceive the world. We investigate how tactile inputs are processed and modulated in mouse somatosensory cortex and then gated to the downstream regions. We hypothesize a canonical mechanism of input integration and transformation into spike trains in individual pyramidal neurons at different brain states (e.g., attention), and contexts (e.g., behavioral demands). To achieve this goal, we elucidate 1) the origins and the spatiotemporal structures of the inputs arriving at the neuronal dendrites and 2) the subcellular machineries incorporated at synapses and dendrites to integrate those inputs (e.g., dendritic spikes). We draw on a variety of cutting-edge methods and tools (e.g., in vivo two-photon imaging, wide-field imaging, patch-clamp recording, optogenetics, etc) in combination with highly controlled behavioral paradigms with head-fixed mice.
Nature Neuroscience, October 2020 cover
Nature Neuroscience has selected the Naoya Takahashi's last paper 'Active dendritic currents gate descending cortical outputs in perception' for his October 2020 volume cover.
« Researcher »
We currently have open positions for two postdocs and one technical assistant.
The postdoc positions belong to the recently funded project “Cellular and circuit basis of attentional modulation of tactile sensory processing” (by ATIP-Avenir2020). In this project, we will apply in vivo imaging methods to investigate cortical sensory processing at the subcellular resolution (i.e., synapses, dendrites) in head-fixed mice performing a tactile task.
The successful candidate holding a PhD will show proven experience in neurophysiology (e.g., two-photon imaging, electrophysiology, mouse behavior) in addition to a strong scientific motivation. Programing skills in matlab or python are required.
For the Technical assistant position, the suitable candidate will have skills in one or more of: immunohistochemistry, epi-fluorescent/confocal microscopy, stereotactic surgery, handing and training mice, programming (matlab, python).
Please send your CV, a short description of research interest, and the name and contact details of two referees to email@example.com