The Ph.D. Program in Human Biology is a 5 year doctoral program integrating biological science, medicine, computational science, and materials science.

Education and Research system

Mr. Takato Honda, 2nd year student, published a first author paper “Induction of Associative Olfactory Memory by Targeted Activation of Single Olfactory Neurons in Drosophila Larvae” in Scientific Reports.

Implanting Artificial Memory in Living Flies

Mr. Takato Honda, 2nd year in Ph.D. Program in Human Biology, published first author on a paper in Scientific Reports, the online journal of Nature Publishing Group.
 Elucidation of neuronal network underlying memory is an important issue of current behavioral neuroscience. The authors successfully induced artificial olfactory memory in living animals, fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) larvae, by targeted activation of memory circuits involved in memory formation. They utilized cutting edge techniques in fly neurogenetics, and substituted the reward signals with dTrpA1-mediated thermogenetic activation of octopaminergic neurons and the odor signals by ChR2-mediated optical activation of a specific class of olfactory neurons. They showed that targeted activation of only the two sets of neurons is indeed sufficient for the formation of associative olfactory memory in the larval brain. These results reveal the minimum elementary circuitry that mediates the induction of distinctive olfactory associative memory in the larval brain.
 Given its simplicity and robustness, this method is expected to further our knowledge on neurocircuitry mechanisms of memory at high resolution. This work was published in Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group) in April 25th, 2014.

LINK

Nature.com (Scientific Reports)
“Induction of Associative Olfactory Memory by Targeted Activation of Single Olfactory Neurons in Drosophila Larvae”
http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140425/srep04798/full/srep04798.html
(Honda.T. et al., Scientific Reports 4,Article number : 4798doi:10.1038/srep04798)

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Ph.D. Program in Human Biology

School of Integrative and Global Majors (SIGMA),
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