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RIKEN Center for Brain Science Laboratory for Molecular Analysis of Higher Brain Function

Laboratory Head: Tetsuo Yamamori (D.Sc.)

Research Summary

Tetsuo  Yamamori

The neocortex is a unique structure in mammals and most evolved in primates including humans. We have characterized the genes selectively expressed in particular areas of the primate neocortex and found two groups of genes that are selectively expressed in the primary visual cortex (V1) and association areas. We then determined the functions of two V1-selectively expressed genes in macaque V1. We have also recently identified the mechanism that regulates the association-area-selective genes: Highly methylated promoters and the transcriptional regulation by MBD4. Functional analysis of the primate neocortex has led us to develop a system for manipulating the gene function in primates. To this end, we are going to construct mesoscopic connective and functional maps of the prefrontal cortex of the marmoset as part of the Brain/Mind project. We also aim to make axonal projection maps in the whole marmoset brain using tracers and reveal neuronal circuits in the areas developed in the primate such as the prefrontal cortex.

Related Research Fields

  • Complex Systems
  • Biological Sciences


  • Brain
  • Primate Specific
  • Psychiatoric Disorder
  • Neural Networks
  • Epigenetics

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.

  • 1.Takaji, M., Takemoto, A., Yokoyama, C., Watakabe, A., Mizukami, H., Ozawa, K., Onoe, H., Nakamura, K., and Yamamori T:
    "Distinct roles for primate caudate dopamine D1 and D2 receptors in visual discrimination learning revealed using shRNA knockdown."
    Sci Rep, 6(35809.), doi: 10.1038/srep35809 (2016)
  • 2.Sadakane O, Masamizu Y, Watakabe A, Terada S, Ohtsuka M, Takaji M, Mizukami H, Ozawa K, Kawasaki H, Matsuzaki M, Yamamori T.:
    "Long-Term Two-Photon Calcium Imaging of Neuronal Populations with Subcellular Resolution in Adult Non-human Primates."
    Cell Rep. 3:1989-1999, 2015
  • 3.Sadakane O, Watakabe A, Ohtsuka M, Takaji M, Sasaki T, Kasai M, Isa T, Kato G, Nabekura J, Mizukami H, Ozawa K, Kawasaki H, Yamamori T.:
    "In Vivo Two-Photon Imaging of Dendritic Spines in Marmoset Neocortex(1,2,3)."
    eNeuro. ENEURO.0019-15.2015.
  • 4.Watakabe A, Ohtsuka M, Kinoshita M, Takaji M, Isa K, Mizukami H, Ozawa K, Isa T, Yamamori T.:
    "Comparative analyses of adeno-associated viral vector serotypes 1, 2, 5, 8 and 9 in marmoset, mouse and macaque cerebral cortex."
    Neurosci Res. 93:144-157,2015
  • 5.* Eradath MK., Abe H. Matsumoto M, Matsumoto K. Tanaka K, Ichinohe, N.:
    "Anatomical inputs to sulcal portions of areas 9m and 8Bm in the macaque monkey"
    Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, 12 March 2015 | doi: 10.3389/fnana.2015.00030 (2015)
  • 6.* Hata K, Mizukami H, Sadakane O, Watakabe A, Ohtsuka M, Takaji M, Kinoshita M, Isa T, Ozawa K, Yamamori T.:
    "DNA methylation and methyl-binding proteins control differential gene expression in distinct cortical areas of macaque monkey."
    J Neurosci. 33:19704-19714. 2013.
  • 7.* Kinoshita M, Matsui R, Kato S, Hasegawa T, Kasahara H, Isa K, Watakabe A, Yamamori T, Nishimura Y, Alstermark B, Watanabe D, Kobayashi K, Isa T.:
    "Genetic dissection of the circuit for hand dexterity in primates."
    Nature. 487:235-238. 2012
  • 8.* Takahata T, Shukla R, Yamamori T, Kaas JH.:
    "Differential expression patterns of striate cortex-enriched genes among Old World, New World, and prosimian primates."
    Cereb Cortex. 22:2313-2321. 2012
  • 9.* Takahata T, Shukla R, Yamamori T, Kaas JH.:
    "Differential expression patterns of striate cortex-enriched genes among Old World, New World, and prosimian primates."
    Cereb Cortex. 22:2313-2321. 2012
  • 10.* Yamamori T.:
    "Selective gene expression in regions of primate neocortex: implications for cortical specialization."
    Prog Neurobiol. 94:201-222. 2012


Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Tetsuo Yamamori
Laboratory Head

Core members

Akiya Watakabe
Research Scientist
Toshiki Tani
Research Scientist
Hiroshi Abe
Research Scientist
Masafumi Takaji
Research Scientist
Masanari Ohtsuka
Research Scientist
Yuki Okumura
Technical Staff I
Yuki Haruta
Technical Staff I
Yuri Shinomoto
Technical Staff I
Hiromi Nito
Technical Staff II
Noritaka Ichinohe
Senior Visiting Scientist
Misako Komatsu
Visiting Scientist
Yukiko Nozawa

Contact Information

BSI East Building, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
Email: tetsuo.yamamori [at] riken.jp