Centers & Labs

RIKEN Brain Science Institute

Laboratory for Mental Biology

Laboratory Head: Toru Takumi (M.D., Ph.D.)
Toru  Takumi(M.D., Ph.D.)

Understanding the molecular level of higher brain functions, represented by mental functions, in particular, is a challenging goal to be accomplished in this century. Now, with the human genome sequence available, to describe mental functions in terms of the set of genes is no longer a dream. The laboratory has been interested in molecular understanding of pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric diseases by analyzing model mice based on autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Through this kind of integrative research on ASD, we hope to establish the basis of new diagnostic and therapeutic development for ASD.

Main Research Field

Medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy

Related Research Fields

Biological Sciences


  • Autism
  • Mental disorders
  • Sleep・rhythm

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.
  1. Nakai N et al.:
    "Serotonin rebalances cortical tuning and behavior linked to autism symptoms in 15q11-13 CNV."
    Science Adv. 3: e1603001, (2017).
  2. Katayama Y et al.:
    "CHD8 haploinsufficiency results in autistic-like phenotypes in mice."
    Nature 537: 675-679, (2016).
  3. Myung J et al.:
    "GABA-mediated repulsive coupling between circadian clock neurons in the SCN encodes seasonal time."
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 112: E3920-3929, (2015).
  4. Goriki A et al.:
    "A novel protein, CHRONO, functions as a core component of the mammalian circadian clock."
    PLoS Biol. 12: e1001839, 2014.
  5. *Maruyama H et al.:
    "Mutations od optineurin in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis."
    Nature 465: 223-226, (2010).
  6. *Nakatani J et al.:
    "Abnormal behavior in a chromosome-engineering mouse model for human 15q11-13 duplication seen in autism."
    Cell 137: 1235-1246, (2009).
  7. *Nakamura W et al.:
    "In vivo real-time monitoring of circadian timing in freely moving mice."
    Curr. Biol. 18: 381-385, (2008).
  8. *Yoshimura A et al.:
    "Myosin-Va facilitates the accumulation of mRNA/protein complex in dendritic spines."
    Curr. Biol. 16: 2345-2351, (2006).
  9. *Akashi M and Takumi T.:
    "The orphan nuclear receptor RORα regulates circadian transcription of the mammalian core-clock Bmal1."
    Nature Struct. Mol. Biol. 12: 441-448, (2005).
  10. *Fujii R et al.:
    "The RNA binding protein TLS is translocated to the dendritic spines by mGluR5 activation and regulates spine morphogenesis."
    Curr. Biol. 15: 587-593, (2005).

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Toru Takumi
Laboratory Head

Core Members

Kota Tamada
Research Scientist
Jun Nomura
Research Scientist
Chia-Wen Lin
Research Scientist
Kiyomichi Imamura
Research Scientist
Amila Zuko
Visiting Researcher
Takeshi Kaizuka
Visiting Researcher
Viviane Mitsuko Neves Saito
Visiting Researcher
Nobuhiro Nakai
Research Associate
Moe Nakanishi
Research Associate
Kazumi Fukatsu
Research Associate
Yoshiko Nomura
Junior Research Associate
Hiroto Kojima
Junior Research Associate
Janak Awasthi
International Program Associate
Asako Furuya
Technical Staff I
Yukiko Sekine
Technical Staff I
Chika Maeda
Technical Staff Ⅱ
Kaori Yanaka
Technical Staff II
Junko Kuwada

Contact information

2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

Email: toru.takumi [at]

Related links

Recent research results