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RIKEN Center for Brain Science Laboratory for Synaptic Plasticity and Connectivity

Laboratory Head: Yukiko Goda (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

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 Fields

  • Biological Sciences


  • Synapse cell biology
  • Synaptic transmission and plasticity

Selected Publications

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

  • 1. Chipman PH, Fung CCA, Fernandez A, Sawant A, Tedoldi A, Kawai A, Gautam SG, Kurosawa M, Abe M, Sakimura K, Fukai T, Goda Y.
    "Astrocyte GluN2C NMDA receptors control basal synaptic strengths of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons in the stratum radiatum."
    eLife 10:e70818. (2021)
  • 2. Bradke F, Goda Y.
    "Molecular neuroscience."
    Curr Opin Neurobiol 69, iii-v. (2021) doi:10.1016/j.conb.2021.07.013.
  • 3. Tong R, Chater TE, Emptage NJ, Goda Y.
    "Heterosynaptic cross-talk of pre- and postsynaptic strengths along segments of dendrites."
    Cell Rep 34, 108693. (2021) doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.108693
  • 4. Chater TE, Goda Y.
    "My Neighbour Hetero - deconstructing the mechanisms underlying heterosynaptic plasticity."
    Curr Op Neurobiol 67, 106-114. (2020) doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2020.10.007
  • 5. Bassett DS, Cullen KE, Eickhoff SB, Farah MJ, Goda Y et al.
    "Reflections on the past two decades of neuroscience."
    Nat Rev Neurosci 21, 524-534. (2020)
  • 6. Letellier M, Levet F, Thoumine O, Goda Y.
    "Differential role of pre and postsynaptic neurons in the activity-dependent control of synaptic strengths across dendrites."
    PLoS Biol 17, e2006223. (2019)
  • 7. Thalhammer A, Contestabile A, Ermolyuk YS, Ng T, Volynski KE, Soong TW, Goda Y, Cingolani LA.
    "Alternative splicing of P/Q-type Ca channels shapes presynaptic plasticity."
    Cell Rep 20, 333-343. (2017)
  • 8. Park YK, Goda Y.
    "Integrins in Synapse Regulation."
    Nat Rev Neurosci 17, 745-756. (2016)
  • 9. 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 (direct submission) 113, E2685-2694. (2016)
  • 10. Shinoe T, Goda Y.
    "uning synapses by proteolytic remodeling of the adhesive surface."
    Curr Op Neurobiol 35, 148-155. (2015)

Recent Research Results

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Yukiko Goda
Laboratory Head

Core members

Toru Shinoe
Research Scientist
Thomas Edward Chater
Research Scientist
Yun Kyung Park
Research Scientist
Alejandra Pazo Fernandez
Research Scientist
Angelo Tedoldi
Research Scientist
Margaux Saint-Martin
Visiting Researcher
Mizuki Kurosawa
Technical Staff I
Itsuko Yamamoto
Technical Staff II
Mimi Sakaguchi

Contact Information

2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
Email: yukiko.goda [at] riken.jp