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Introduction of our laboratory
We focus on the development and remodeling of neural circuits. Neural circuits undergo dynamic postnatal remodeling, including strengthening of necessary synapses and pruning of unnecessary synapses during adolescence. Our goals are to reveal how adolescent environment and experience affect the remodeling process and clarify how the remodeling affects brain functions in the end. We are also interested in the reorganization of neural circuits in the mature adult brain, which occurs typically after peripheral nerve damage. Through these series of studies, we hope to elucidate the neuronal mechanisms of developmental disorders and sexual differentiation of the brain, as well as to explore the therapeutic strategies to overcome intractable pain (e.g., phantom limb pain) and to facilitate functional recovery after nerve damage. In addition, our laboratory aims to elucidate the neural circuits involved in the processing of pain and emotion. We use electrophysiology, molecular biology, imaging, and optogenetics to observe, measure, and manipulate neural circuits in vitro and in vivo. We continuously collaborate with other labs in and out of the university, including clinical departments.