Our goal is to understand the neural basis of sensory perception and sensory-based decision making through the integration of experimental and theoretical approaches

Andrea Benucci

Andrea Benucci, Ph.D.

Team Leader, Laboratory for Neural Circuits and Behavior
andrea.benucci [at] riken.jp

Research Overview

Our laboratory studies the neural basis of sensory processing with a major focus on vision. We are particularly interested in understanding the computational rules used by populations of neurons in the visual cortex to process visual information: how does the coordinated activity of groups of neurons, “talking” among each other via action potentials, produce a visual percept? What are the relevant spatial and temporal scales used to process visual information? To address these questions, we are using as a model system the primary visual cortex of mice trained in behavioural tasks. The experimental tools we are using are based on cutting-edge methods in Optogenetics, optical imaging, and electrode recording. This research provides an ideal test-bed for understanding the neural mechanisms of visual perception and its outcomes have the potential to provide important clinical applications in the field of cortical visual prostheses.

Main Research Fields


Related Research Fields

Biological Sciences


Selected Publications

  1. Orlandi, J.G., Abdolrahmani, M., Aoki, R., Lyamzin, D.R., Benucci, A.,
    "Distributed context-dependent choice information in mouse dorsal-parietal cortex."
    bioRxiv, 2021.03.02.433657, (2021)
  2. Abdolrahmani, M., Lyamzin, D.R., Aoki, R., Benucci, A.,
    "Attention Separates Sensory and Motor Signals in the Mouse Visual Cortex."
    Cell Rep., 36(2):109377, (2021)
  3. Lyamzin, D.R., Aoki, R., Abdolrahmani, M., Benucci, A.,
    "Probabilistic discrimination of relative stimulus features in mice."
    PNAS, July 27;118(30):e2103952118, (2021)
  4. Makino, Y., Polygalov, D., Bolaños, F., Benucci, A., McHugh, T.J.,
    "Physiological Signature of Memory Age in the Prefrontal-Hippocampal Circuit."
    Cell Rep., 29(12):3835-3846.e5, (2019)
  5. Lyamzin, D., Benucci, A.,
    "The mouse posterior parietal cortex: Anatomy and functions."
    Neurosci. Res., Mar;140:14-22 (2019)
  6. Aoki, R., Tsubota, T., Goya, Y., Benucci, A.,
    "An automated platform for high-throughput mouse behavior and physiology with voluntary head-fixation."
    Nature Comms., 8:1196, (2017)
  7. Pisauro, M.A., Benucci, A., Carandini, M.,
    "Local and global contributions to hemodynamic activity in mouse cortex."
    J.Neurophysiol., Mar 16;00125.2016, (2016)
  8. Zoccolan, D., Cox, D., Benucci, A.,
    "What can simple brains teach us about how vision works."
    Front. Neural Circuits, 9:51, (2015)
  9. Madisen, L., ...,Benucci, A., ..., Zeng, H.
    "Transgenic mice for intersectional targeting of neural sensors and effectors with high specificity and performance."
    Neuron, Mar 4;85(5):942-58, (2015)
  10. Carandini, M., Shimaoka, D., Rossi, L.F., Sato, T.K., Benucci, A., Knöpfel, T
    "Imaging the awake visual cortex with a genetically encoded voltage indicator."
    J.Neurosci., Jan 7;35(1):53-63, (2015)

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Andrea Benucci
Laboratory Head

Core members

Mohammad Abdolrahmani
Research Scientist
Dmitry Lyamzin
Research Scientist
Javier Orlandi Gomez
Research Scientist
Ryo Aoki
Special Postdoctoral Researcher
Federico Bolanos
Junior Research Associate
Yuka Iwamoto
Technical Staff I
Yuki Goya
Technical Staff I
Rie Nishiyama
Technical Staff I