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 nodes of information transmission in the brain. The dynamic changes in the efficacy of synaptic transmission or synaptic strength, play crucial roles in a variety of cognitive functions from perception, emotion, computation, to learning and memory. Our research seeks to understand how synapses acquire a particular strength and how the strength of individual synapses is dynamically modified in relationship to other synapses of the neural network. We study how these mechanisms of synaptic strength regulation control neural circuit properties underlying particular types of behavior.

Main Research Field

Biological Sciences


  • Synapse cell biology
  • Synaptic transmission and plasticity

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.
  1. Park YK, Goda Y.:
    "Integrins in synapse regulation"
    Nat Rev Neurosci 17, 745-756 (2016)
  2. Letellier M, Park YK, Chater TE, Chipman PH, Gautam SG, Oshima-Takago T, Goda Y.:
    "Astrocytes regulate heterogeneity of presynaptic strengths in hippocampal networks"
    Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113, E2685-2694 (2016)
  3. Shinoe T, Goda Y.:
    "Tuning synapses by proteolytic remodeling of the adhesive surface"
    Curr Op Neurobiol 35, 148-155 (2015)
  4. Vitureira N, Goda Y.:
    "The interplay between Hebbian and homeostatic synaptic plasticity"
    J Cell Biol 203, 175-186 (2013)
  5. * 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)
  6. * 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)
  7. * 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)
  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

Toru Shinoe
Research Scientist
Thomas Edward Chater
Research Scientist
Yun Kyung Park
Research Scientist
Peter Howard Chipman
Research Scientist
Sunita Ghimire Gautam
Research Scientist
Aiko Kawahara
Research Scientist
Alejandra Pazo Fernandez
Research Scientist
Rudi Tong
Visiting Researcher
Mizuki Kurosawa
Technical Staff I
Yuko Murata

Contact information

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

Email: goda [at]

Related links

Recent research results