Centers & Labs

RIKEN Brain Science Institute

Laboratory for Neurobiology of Synapse

Laboratory Head: Yoshihiro Yoshihara (Ph.D.)
Yoshihiro  Yoshihara(Ph.D.)

Animals can perceive a huge number of odorants in the external world, which profoundly influence the internal homeostasis and evoke various fundamental behaviors such as food searching, predator avoidance, mate choice, and social interactions. Highly ordered but flexibly modifiable synaptic connections among various types of neurons are the basis of functional logic employed by the brain for sensory information coding and processing. Therefore, detailed knowledge on neuronal connectivity patterns along the olfactory pathways is essential for understanding the wide range of olfactory functions. We aim to clarify the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying development and functional architecture of the olfactory neural circuits responsible for various odor-evoked behaviors and physiological changes.

Main Research Field

Biological Sciences

Related Research Fields



  • olfaction
  • neural circuit
  • behavior
  • consciousness
  • claustrum

Selected Publications

  1. Wakisaka N., Miyasaka N., Koide T., Masuda M., Hiraki-Kajiyama T., and Yoshihara Y.:
    "An adenosine receptor for olfaction in fish"
    Curr. Biol., 27(10), 1437-1447 (2017).
  2. Yabuki Y., Koide T., Miyasaka N., Wakisaka N., Masuda M., Ohkura M., Nakai J., Tsuge K., Tsuchiya S., Sugimoto Y., and Yoshihara Y.:
    "Olfactory receptor for prostaglandin F2α mediates male fish courtship behavior"
    Nat. Neurosci., 19(7), 897-904 (2016).
  3. Miyasaka, N., Arganda-Carreras, I., Wakisaka, N., Masuda, M., Sümbül, U., Seung, H. S., Yoshihara, Y.:
    "Olfactory projectome in the zebrafish forebrain revealed by genetic single-neuron labeling"
    Nat. Commun., DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4639 (2014).
  4. Kaneko-Goto, T., Sato, Y., Katada, S., Kinameri, E., Yoshihara, S., Nishiyori, A., Kimura, M., Fujita, H., Touhara, K., Reed, R. R., Yoshihara, Y.:
    "Goofy coordinates the acuity of olfactory signaling"
    J. Neurosci., 33, 12987-12996 (2013).
  5. Mizuguchi, R., Naritsuka, H., Mori, K., Mao, C. A., Klein, W. H., Yoshihara, Y.:
    "Tbr2 deficiency in mitral and tufted cells disrupt excitatory-inhibitory balance of neural circuitry in the mouse olfactory bulb"
    J. Neurosci., 32, 8831-8844 (2012).
  6. Koide, T., Miyasaka, N., Morimoto, K., Asakawa, A., Urasaki, A., Kawakami, K., Yoshihara, Y.:
    "Olfactory neural circuitry for attraction to amino acids revealed by transposon-mediated gene trap approach in zebrafish"
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 106, 9884-9889 (2009).
  7. Miyasaka, N., Morimoto, K., Tsubokawa, T., Higashijima, S., Okamoto, H., Yoshihara, Y.:
    "From the olfactory bulb to higher brain centers: genetic visualization of secondary olfactory pathways in zebrafish"
    J. Neurosci., 29, 4756-4767 (2009).
  8. Kaneko-Goto, T., Yoshihara, S., Miyazaki, H., Yoshihara, Y.:
    "BIG-2 mediates olfactory axon convergence to target glomeruli"
    Neuron, 57, 834-846 (2008).
  9. Sato, Y., Miyasaka, N., Yoshihara, Y.:
    "Hierarchical regulation of odorant receptor gene choice and subsequent axonal projection of olfactory sensory neurons in zebrafish"
    J. Neurosci., 27, 1606-1615 (2007).
  10. Sato Y, Miyasaka N, and Yoshihara Y.:
    "Mutually exclusive glomerular innervation by two distinct types of olfactory sensory neurons revealed in transgenic zebrafish"
    J Neurosci, 25(20), 4889-97 (2005).

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Yoshihiro Yoshihara
Laboratory Head

Core Members

Nobuhiko Miyasaka
Deputy Laboratory Head
Tetsuya Koide
Research Scientist
Kimiya Narikiyo
Research Scientist
Seiichiro Amemiya
Research Scientist
Towako Kajiyama
Special Postdoctoral Researcher
Ayako Ajima
Research Specialist
Miwa Masuda
Technical Staff I
Yuriko Mishima
Technical Staff I
Momoko Shiozaki
Technical Staff II
Takako Kikuchi

Contact information

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

Email: yoshihara [at]

Related links

Recent research results