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RIKEN Center for Brain Science Laboratory for Motor Circuit Plasticity

Team Leader: Aya Takeoka (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

Aya Takeoka

Motor circuit plasticity persists into adulthood, empowering us to learn new motor skills, retain learned skills, and regain motor functions following traumatic injury. In our lab, we delve into the fascinating world of neurocircuit mechanisms that govern two distinct phases of motor learning. We want to understand the process through which sensory information is disseminated and processed during the initial learning phase, unlocking the insights that facilitate correction and adaptation of motor output. Additionally, we are dedicated to unraveling motor memory encoding after successful learning. These efforts pave the way toward comprehending the complexities that govern motor function and its plasticity.

Main Research Fields

  • Biology

Related Research Fields

  • Engineering
  • Biological Sciences
  • Neuroscience-general-related
  • Function of nervous system-related
  • Physiology-related


  • Neurocircuit plasticity
  • Motor functions
  • Spinal cord functionality
  • High resolution physiology
  • Genetic manipulations

Selected Publications

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

  • 1. *Lavaud S, Bichara C, D’Andola M, Yeh S, Takeoka A.
    "Two inhibitory neuronal classes govern acquisition and recall of spinal sensorimotor adaptation."
    Science 384,194-201. (2024), doi:10.1126/science.adf6801
  • 2. *Lavaud S, Bichara C, D’Andola M, Yeh S, Takeoka A.
    "Electrophysiological signatures reveal spinal cord mechanisms for a lasting sensorimotor adaptation."
    BioRxiv (2022), doi:10.1101/2022.03.30.486422
  • 3. *Bertels H, Vicente-Ortiz G, El Kanbi K, Takeoka A.
    "Neurotransmitter phenotype switching by spinal excitatory interneurons regulates locomotor recovery after spinal cord injury"
    Nature Neuroscience 25 (5) 617–629. (2022)
  • 4. *Takeoka A.:
    "Proprioception: Bottom-up directive for motor recovery after spinal cord injury."
    Neurosci Res 154, 1-8. (2020)
  • 5. *Takeoka A and Arber S.
    "Functional local proprioceptive feedback circuits initiate and sustain locomotor recovery after spinal cord injury."
    Cell Reports 27 (1): 71–85.e3 (2019)
  • 6. *Ruder L, Takeoka A, Arber S.
    "Long-distance descending spinal neurons ensure quadrupedal locomotor stability."
    Neuron 92 (5): 1063-1078 (2016)
  • 7. *Basaldella E, Takeoka A, Sigrist M, and Arber S.
    "Multisensory signaling shapes vestibulo-motor circuit specificity."
    Cell 163 (2): 301-12 (2015)
  • 8. *Takeoka A, Vollenweider I, Courtine G, and Arber S.
    "Muscle spindle feedback directs locomotor recovery and circuit reorganization after spinal cord injury."
    Cell 159 (7): 1626-1639 (2014)
  • 9. *Takeoka A, Jindrich DL, Muñoz-Quiles C, Zhong H, van den Brand R, Pham DL, Ziegler MD, Ramon-Cueto A, Roy RR, Edgerton VR, and Phelps PE.
    "Axon regeneration can facilitate or suppress hindlimb function after Olfactory Ensheathing Glia transplantation."
    J. Neurosci 31: 4298-4310. (2011)

Recent Research Results

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Aya Takeoka
Team Leader


Position Deadline
Seeking Research Scientist or Postdoctoral Researcher (W23131) Open until filled
Seeking Technical staff (W23128) Open until filled

Contact Information

Email: aya.takeoka [at] riken.jp