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Neural Basis of Perception

Team Leader : Naoya Takahashi

Naoya Takahashi received his PhD at the University of Tokyo (advisor: Prof. Yuji Ikegaya), studying spatial organization of synaptic inputs in dendrites. He moved to Berlin for his postdoc at the laboratory Prof. Matthew Larkum (Humboldt University), where he studied active roles of cortical neuron dendrites in somatosensory processing. As a recipient of the Grass Fellowship in 2018, he worked as a summer investigator at the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, MA).

Since 2020, he is a team leader at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience (IINS). By combining a wide range of tools and methods in neurophysiology and behavioral neuroscience, his team aims to understand cellular and circuit mechanisms that controls tactile perception in mice.

General objective

Attention and contextual knowledge are prerequisites for perception and decision making. The goal of my team is to identify the neuronal mechanisms underlying cognitive control and contextual modulation of perception and behavioral actions.

Towards this goal, my team focuses on tactile sensation in mice, one of the most predominant sensory modalities in rodents to perceive the world. We investigate how tactile inputs are processed and modulated in the somatosensory cortex. Our particular interest lies in understanding the synaptic and dendritic processes that shape the output of single cortical neurons at different brain states (e.g., attention) and contexts (e.g., behavioral demands).

We use a variety of in vivo techniques to achieve these goals: two-photon and one-photon subcellular imaging, whole-cell patch clamp recording, optogenetics and chemogenetics, virus-mediated circuit tracing, psychophysical analysis of mouse tactile behavior. We also have an interest in developing new imaging tools and genetic/molecular tools via collaborations to probe cortical activity with subcellular resolution in awake behaving mice. 


  • Two-photon imaging
  • Electrophysiology in vivo and in vitro
  • Optogenetics and chemogenetics
  • Mouse behavior (tactile sensation)
  • News

    Nature Neuroscience, October 2020 cover

    Nature Neuroscience has selected the Naoya Takahashi's last paper 'Active dendritic currents gate descending cortical outputs in perception' for his October 2020 volume cover.

    Selected Publications

  • Takahashi N, Ebner C, Sigl-Glöckner J, Moberg S, Nierwetberg S, Larkum ME
  • Active dendritic currents gate descending cortical outputs in perception Nature Neuroscience (2020)

  • Takahashi N, Oertner TG, Hegemann P, Larkum ME
  • Active cortical dendrites modulate perception Science (2016)

  • Takahashi N, Kobayashi C, Ishikawa T, Ikegaya Y
  • Subcellular imbalances in synaptic activity Cell Reports (2016)

  • Takahashi N, Kitamura K, Matsuo N, Mayford M, Kano M, Matsuki N, Ikegaya Y
  • Locally synchronized synaptic inputs Science (2012)

  • Takahashi N, Sasaki T, Matsumoto W, Matsuki N, Ikegaya Y
  • Circuit topology for synchronizing neurons in spontaneously active networks Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2010)


    « Researcher »

    TAKAHASHI Naoya Researcher +33533514700


    We are hiring!

    We currently have open positions for two postdocs and one technical assistant.

    The postdoc positions belong to the recently funded project “Cellular and circuit basis of attentional modulation of tactile sensory processing” (by ATIP-Avenir2020). In this project, we will apply in vivo imaging methods to investigate cortical sensory processing at the subcellular resolution (i.e., synapses, dendrites) in head-fixed mice performing a tactile task.

    The successful candidate holding a PhD will show proven experience in neurophysiology (e.g., two-photon imaging, electrophysiology, mouse behavior) in addition to a strong scientific motivation. Programing skills in matlab or python are required.

    For the Technical assistant position, the suitable candidate will have skills in one or more of: immunohistochemistry, epi-fluorescent/confocal microscopy, stereotactic surgery, handing and training mice, programming (matlab, python).

    Please send your CV, a short description of research interest, and the name and contact details of two referees to