The goal of our research team is to understand (1) how brain state is organized at the level of neural circuits, (2) how brain state affects brain functions, (3) how brain state is regulated, and (4) whether and how manipulation of brain state can modify disease pathology.
Out strategies are (1) to study normal information processing, (2) to study abnormal information processing, and (3) to develop tools to modulate brain functions. Our main techniques are in vivo ensemble recording, Ca2+ imaging, optogenetics, and behavioural approaches.
1. State-dependent auditory processing and perception
When we are paying attention to sound, we can vividly perceive it. When sleep, however, our perception is siginificantly diminished. But what is happening in the brain? Because our brain activity ('brain state') continuously changes, it is extremely important to address the following three questions: 1) how is each brain state organized at the level of neural circuit? 2) how do brain states affect sensory processing and perceptual decision? and 3) how are brain states regulated? We are addressing these questions by taking multidisciplinary approaches, with a focus on dynamic interplays between the auditory system and neuromodulatory systems.
2. The circuit mechanism of abnormal hearing
Brain circuits often generate auditory perception even in the absence of auditory inputs, such as auditory hallucinations. But how? We are particularly focusing on phantom auditory perception, so-called tinnitus. Tinnitus is a symptom, which is often associated with hearing loss. Considering aging society and age-related hearing loss, a better understanding of the neural basis of tinnitus is extremly urgent. We are aiming to identify neural correlates of tinnitus at the level of neuronal circuits. By using a massively parallel extracellular recording technique and a behavioural approach, we are determining relationships between tinnitus and abnormal neural population activity in the auditory thalamocortical circuit. This research program will provide further insight into the development of new treatment for tinnitus sufferers.
3. Technology development to improve and restore hearing
Once we understand both normal and abnormal states, a next step is to explore strategies to restore abnormal states into the normal one. In addition, we can also think of how we can boost our normal brain functions. To achieve these goals, we are developing new approaches and technologies. We are particularly interested in the improvement and restoration of sensory abilities by controlling neural activity. Combining advanced technologies in rodents as a model, we are developing novel strategies to improve and restore hearing.
***Our research team is currently accepting applications from prospective PhD students and postdocs. In particular, persons who have strong background in physics, mathematics, or engineering are strongly encouraged to apply. ***
- Frontiers in Neuroanatomy (Journal)
- Editorial board member
- FENS Forum of Neuroscience 2020
- External examiner at University of Reading
- External examiner at University of St Andrews
- Optical approaches to interrogate state-dependent and cell-type-specific activity in the brain
- State-dependent neural ensemble dynamics in brainstem
- Invited speaker
More professional activities
- Sleep regulation by neuron-astrocyte interactions
- Sakata, Shuzo (Principal Investigator)
- 01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2024
- Deep brain technologies to understand the cellular origin of diseases DEEPER
- Mathieson, Keith (Principal Investigator) Sakata, Shuzo (Co-investigator) Wozny, Christian (Co-investigator) McAlinden, Niall (Research Co-investigator)
- 01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2025
- Developing therapies for Alzheimer's disease
- Jiang, Hui-Rong (Principal Investigator) Sakata, Shuzo (Co-investigator)
- 01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2022
- Understanding the action mechanisms of gamma oscillation for AD disease
- Jiang, Hui-Rong (Principal Investigator) Sakata, Shuzo (Principal Investigator)
- 01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2021
- Immunomechanisms of gamma oscillation treatment for Alzheimer's disease
- Jiang, Hui-Rong (Principal Investigator) Sakata, Shuzo (Co-investigator) Harte, Tanith (Post Grad Student)
- The study aims to identify the specific immune cells and molecules which mediate the action of induced gamma oscillation, a potential novel treatment for AD patients.
- 01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2022
- Photometry-based in vivo calcium imaging for circuit-based interrogation of Alzheimers pathology
- Sakata, Shuzo (Principal Investigator)
- 01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2020
Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
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