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Intelligent Cooperative Systems Kanzaki Laboratory

Understanding and utilization of brain functions via the reconstruction of neural circuits in the insect brain

Exploring advanced science and technology from insect neuroscience

Insects and animals have evolved sophisticated brain systems in the history of life. Understanding of their brain mechanisms will bring a major breakthrough in both biology and engineering. We aim to understand the insect brain mechanism by reconstructing neural circuits from single neurons. Furthermore, we have been developing novel olfactory sensors using insect olfactory receptors employing genetic engineering. We believe that the advance of insect science will bring a breakthrough for neuroscience and engineering.

Whole insect brain simulation and the understanding of insect intelligence

Our target is the understanding of insect intelligence through the large scale simulation of the insect brain which has 104-106 neurons. We are tackling to the secret of insect brains by experimental and computational approaches. We are investigating morphological and functional properties of single neurons and neural circuit by electrophysiological and imaging techniques. Furthermore, we are reconstructing connections between neurons and developing a large-scaled neural network model. We employ the K /post-K supercomputer for the simulation of the model, which can replay the real-time activities of the insect brain.

Development of odorant biosensors based on insect olfactory systems

Insects have sophisticated olfactory systems that detect odorant molecules in the air with high sensitivity and translate odor information into adaptive odor-tracking behaviors. We are examining molecular and neural mechanisms that underlie the generation of adaptive behavior using silkmoths by employing transgenic and genome editing techniques. We have also successfully reconstructed the functions of several insect-derived odorant receptors in cultured insect cells and olfactory receptor neurons of silkmoths using genetic engineering. By applying these technologies, we aim to develop a "cell-based sensor chip" for detecting various odorant molecules as a fluorescence pattern of transgenic sensor cells, and a "sensor moth" for finding an odor source on demand.

Pheromone-searching behavior of an adult male silkmoth (Bombyx mori )
Pheromone-searching behavior of an adult male silkmoth (Bombyx mori )
Reconstruction of the insect brain
Reconstruction of the insect brain
Measurement results of a cell-based sensor chip
Measurement results of a cell-based sensor chip

Member

  • Ryohei KANZAKI
  • Specialized field:Genetic engineering, Neurophysiology, Brain reconstruction, Biomechanical fusion
 
Research Associate Hidehumi MITSUNO
Project Research Associate Stephan Shuichi HAUPT
Project Research Associate Daigo TERUTSUKI
Project Researcher Tomoki KAZAWA
<As of May 2019>

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