Centers & Labs

RIKEN Brain Science Institute

Laboratory for Synaptic Plasticity and Connectivity

Laboratory Head: Yukiko Goda (Ph.D.)
Yukiko  Goda(Ph.D.)

Synapses are the fundamental nodes of information transmission in the brain. The dynamic changes in the efficacy of synaptic transmission or synaptic strength, play a crucial role in a variety of cognitive functions from perception, emotion, computation, to learning and memory. Our research seeks to understand how individual synapses acquire a particular strength and how the strength of individual synapses is dynamically modified by network activity and in relationship to other synapses sharing the network. We also study how these mechanisms of synaptic strength regulation impact synaptic circuit properties relevant to particular types of behavior such as anxiety. To address these questions experimentally, we use electrophysiology and fluorescence live-imaging in combination with methods of molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry.

Research Subjects

  • Synapse adhesion proteins and synaptic strength regulation at tetra-partite synapses
  • Interaction between Hebbian plasticity and homeostatic synaptic plasticity in defined synaptic circuits
  • Homeostatic synaptic plasticity in controlling network ensemble activity related to anxiety

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.
  1. Shinoe T, Goda Y.:
    "Tuning synpases by proteolytic remodeling of the adhesive surface"
    Curr Op Neurobiol 35, 148-155 (2015)
  2. Chater TE, Goda Y.:
    "The role of AMPA receptors in postsynaptic mechanisms of synaptic plasticity"
    Front Cell Neurosci 8:401 (2014)
  3. Vitureira N, Goda Y.:
    "The interplay between Hebbian and homeostatic synaptic plasticity"
    J Cell Biol 203, 175-186 (2013)
  4. * McGeachie AB, Skrzypiec AE, Cingolani LA, Letellier M, Pawlak R, and Goda Y.:
    "Beta3 integrin is dispensable for conditioned fear and Hebbian forms of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus"
    Eur J Neurosci 36, 2461-2469 (2012)
  5. * Pozo K, Cingolani LA, Bassani S, Laurent F, Passafaro M, Goda Y.:
    "Beta3 integrin interacts directly with GluA2 AMPA receptor subunit and regulates AMPA receptor expression in hippocampal neurons"
    Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109, 1323-1328 (2012)
  6. * Vitureira N, Letellier M, White IJ, Goda Y.:
    "Differential control of presynaptic efficacy by postsynaptic N-cadherin and beta-catenin"
    Nat Neurosci 15, 81-89 (2011)
  7. * Pozo K, Goda Y.:
    "Unraveling mechanisms of homeostatic synaptic plasticity"
    Neuron 66, 337-351 (2010)
  8. * Staras K, Branco T, Burden JJ, Pozo K, Darcy K, Marra V, Ratnayaka A, Goda Y.:
    "A Vesicle superpool spanning multiple presynaptic terminals in hippocampal neurons"
    Neuron 66, 36-44 (2010)
  9. * Branco T, Staras K, Darcy KJ, Goda Y.:
    "Local dendritic activity sets release probability at hippocampal synapses"
    Neuron 58, 749-762 (2008)
  10. * Cingolani LA, Thalhammer A, Yu LM, Catalano M, Ramos T, Colicos MA, Goda Y.:
    "Activity-dependent regulation of synaptic AMPA receptor composition and abundance by β3 integrins"
    Neuron 58, 749-762 (2008)

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Yukiko Goda
Laboratory Head

Core Members

Sunita Ghimire Gautam
Research Scientist
Yun Kyung Park
Research Scientist
Toru Shinoe
Research Scientist
Thomas Edward Chater
Research Scientist
Peter Howard Chipman
Research Scientist
Aiko Kawahara
Research Scientist
Mizuki Kurosawa
Technical Staff I
Insaf Bahrini
Technical Staff I
Yuko Murata

Contact information

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

Email: goda [at]

Related links

Recent research results