We aim to elucidate the neural circuit mechanisms underlying olfaction and consciousness.

Yoshihiro Yoshihara

Yoshihiro Yoshihara, Ph.D.

Team Leader, Systems Molecular Ethology
yoshihiro.yoshihara [at] riken.jp

Research Overview

Animals can perceive a huge number of odorants and pheromones in the external world, which evoke fundamental olfactory behaviors such as food searching, danger avoidance, mate choice, and memory recall. By using zebrafish as a model organism, we aim to clarify the molecular, cellular and circuit mechanisms underlying functional architecture of the olfactory system responsible for various odor-evoked behaviors and physiological changes.

The claustrum is a thin, sheet-like neuronal structure hidden beneath the inner surface of the mammalian cerebral cortex, whose function is enigmatic. Our group revealed that the claustrum orchestrates cortical slow-wave activity by inducing synchronous and global silencing of cortical neurons. We further advance this study to decipher the role of the claustrum in higher brain functions such as memory consolidation, attentional load allocation, and consciousness.

Main Research Fields

Biological Sciences

Related Research Fields



Selected Publications

  1. Narikiyo K., Mizuguchi R., Ajima A., Shiozaki M., Hamanaka H., Johansen J.P., Mori K., and Yoshihara Y.:
    "The claustrum coordinates cortical slow-wave activity"
    Nat. Neurosci., 23(6), 741-753 (2020).
  2. Koide T.,Yabuki Y.,and Yoshihara Y.:
    "Terminal nerve GnRH3 neurons mediate slow avoidance of carbon dioxide in larval zebrafish"
    Cell Reports, 22(5), 1115-1123 (2018).
  3. Wakisaka N., Miyasaka N., Koide T., Masuda M., Hiraki-Kajiyama T., and Yoshihara Y.:
    "An adenosine receptor for olfaction in fish"
    Curr. Biol., 27(10), 1437-1447 (2017).
  4. Yabuki Y., Koide T., Miyasaka N., Wakisaka N., Masuda M., Ohkura M., Nakai J., Tsuge K., Tsuchiya S., Sugimoto Y., and Yoshihara Y.:
    "Olfactory receptor for prostaglandin F2α mediates male fish courtship behavior"
    Nat. Neurosci., 19(7), 897-904 (2016).
  5. Miyasaka, N., Arganda-Carreras, I., Wakisaka, N., Masuda, M., Sümbül, U., Seung, H. S., Yoshihara, Y.:
    "Olfactory projectome in the zebrafish forebrain revealed by genetic single-neuron labelling"
    Nat. Commun., DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4639 (2014).
  6. Kaneko-Goto, T., Sato, Y., Katada, S., Kinameri, E., Yoshihara, S., Nishiyori, A., Kimura, M., Fujita, H., Touhara, K., Reed, R. R., Yoshihara, Y.:
    "Goofy coordinates the acuity of olfactory signaling"
    J. Neurosci., 33, 12987-12996 (2013).
  7. Mizuguchi, R., Naritsuka, H., Mori, K., Mao, C. A., Klein, W. H., Yoshihara, Y.:
    "Tbr2 deficiency in mitral and tufted cells disrupt excitatory-inhibitory balance of neural circuitry in the mouse olfactory bulb"
    J. Neurosci., 32, 8831-8844 (2012).
  8. Koide, T., Miyasaka, N., Morimoto, K., Asakawa, A., Urasaki, A., Kawakami, K., Yoshihara, Y.:
    "Olfactory neural circuitry for attraction to amino acids revealed by transposon-mediated gene trap approach in zebrafish"
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 106, 9884-9889 (2009).
  9. Miyasaka, N., Morimoto, K., Tsubokawa, T., Higashijima, S., Okamoto, H., Yoshihara, Y.:
    "From the olfactory bulb to higher brain centers: genetic visualization of secondary olfactory pathways in zebrafish"
    J. Neurosci., 29, 4756-4767 (2009).
  10. Kaneko-Goto, T., Yoshihara, S., Miyazaki, H., Yoshihara, Y.:
    "BIG-2 mediates olfactory axon convergence to target glomeruli"
    Neuron, 57, 834-846 (2008).

News & Media

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Yoshihiro Yoshihara
Laboratory Head

Core members

Takahiro Hino
Postdoctoral Researcher
Ling Fei Tee
Postdoctoral Researcher
Misaki Takaoka
Junior Research Associate
Aki Arai
Technical Staff I
Miho Urabe
Technical Staff I
Emi Kageyama
Technical Staff I