Structural Physiology  (Medical School, U Tokyo)     Sho Yagishita      

International Research Institute for Neurointelligence  (IRCN, U Tokyo)     Haruo Kasai  

We have revealed that our mind is shaped by motility of synaptic connections , and unravel the mysteries of our mind and mental disorders.  


How does learning occur and memory is stored in the brain? In the cerebrum, excitatory synapses are formed on tiny spiny protrusions of dendrites called dendritic spines. We developed opto-chemical manipulation of synapses before optogenetics, and have revealed that dendritic spines show a structure-function relationship,  rapid enlargement for LTP,  time-dependent modulation by dopamine, slow fluctuations to manage memory, and physically act on presynaptic terminals. We also developed optical labeling and interrogation of active synapses in vivo. These spine dynamics must underlie cognitive functions such as perception, attention, emotion, decision- making, and planning. In mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, autism, depression, drug addiction, and dementia, impairments of spine function lead to deficits in cognitive and subjective functions. We are currently studying the ultimate mysteries of the brain.



October 27, 2023

 Five principles of spine synapses in brain function published.

May 1, 2023

Dr. Shiqi Zhou joined as a research fellow. 

March 17, 2023

Our new review on Mechanical transmission at spine synapse has been published.

January 21, 2023

Mr. Takayoshi Ohkubo (M1 student) jointed Yagishita G.

January 4, 2023

Dr. Sawada won an Inoue award of doctor thesis.  

December 1, 2022

Dr. Daria Sharapova joined Yagishita G.

October 11, 2022

The Inaugural lecture of Haruo Kasai in WPI-IRCN is uploaded in YouTube. 

August 1, 2022

Ms. Rina Yamaguchi joiined Yagishita G as  a technician.

April 1, 2022

Haruo Kasai is assigned as a project professor in WPI-IRCN.   

April 1, 2022

Dr. Shoou Umemoto joined Yagishita G as postdoc.

March 16, 2022

Our lab is recruiting  graduate students and postdocs.  

March 14, 2022

Dr. Haruo Kasai receives the Imperial Prize and the Japan Academy Prize 

March 3, 2022

The last lecture of Prof. Haruo Kasai in Faculty of Medicine will be delivered at Tetsumon-kodo and Zoom.   

Nov. 24, 2021

Our paper on the mechanical synaptic transmission has been published in   Nature F1000 Recommendation

July 1, 2021

Our review article on spine dynamics has published Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

May 15, 2021

Ms. Yuki Sakata has joined our lab!

April 15, 2021

Dr. Chinhua Chou joined Yagishita G. as a research fellow.

April 1, 2021

Mr Hidefumi Ohmi joined Yagishita G as a master course student.

March 16, 2021

Tomoki Arima has joined as a graduate student.

March 2, 2021

Dr. Fumihiro Eto has joined our lab!