Laboratory for Neural Circuit Systems

Institute of Neuroscience

Tokushima Bunri University


A research laboratory for Neural Circuit Systems

PI: Takashi Tominaga Ph. D. (Professor Institute of Neuroscience, Professor Kagawa School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tokushima Bunri University)

Voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) imaging of hippocampus and related cortexes.

“to where the thoughts emerge”

About us

PI Takashi Tominaga Ph. D.


Instituite of Neuroscience,

Kagawa School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tokushima Bunri Uinversity

Graduate student    

Utsumi Yuichi

Technical Staff

Yoko Tominaga Ph.D.

Makiko Taketoshi

Ai Taniguchi

Kentaro Nakashima (Ph.D.)

Assistant Professor

Instituite of Neuroscience,

Kagawa School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tokushima Bunri Uinversity

Movies are our passion,

so we have made them our profession.

The laboratory aims to develop methods to "see" the brain activity to understand how the brain executes complex information processing in the health and disease state.  

To do this, we employ the voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) imaging.

The brain consists of numerous numbers of the computational elements. The number of the components is almost the same as that of the stars in our galaxy. To understand how the brain computes, we need to know the function of the elements and the interactions.

The elements - "neurons" use the membrane potential for computation. To read the information = membrane potential, we often use a thin electrode by inserting or touching to the cell. The method is so-called electrophysiology. It is necessary to apply the technique to make a complete or comprehensive read-out from the brain.

The development of the voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) in 1972 has made it possible to record the membrane potential from many cells simultaneously.

We have been developing the method to apply the VSD imaging to brain tissue for more than 20-years to understand the brain computation. It also helps to know how to maintain its function and to prevent malfunction, or to seek the cure from disease.

What we do

Equipments and techniques


Most of the electrophysiological techniques especially for the slice preparations, such as field-potential recordings, the sharp electrode intracellular recordings, patch clamp recordings. The laboratory equips many kinds of amplifiers (AXON 700B x 3, 2B x 1, HEKA EPC-8 x 2), and manipulators (Luigi Neumann, Narishige). The electrophysiology of Paramecium is also possible.


We have developed many kinds of custom optics including THT-macroscope (Brainvision), a new confocal microscope (J Neurophysiol., 2013), and the objective lens (now available from Olympus) for VSD imaging.

VSD imaging

We mostly do the voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) imaging of the slice preparations. We equip MiCAM-ULTIMA x 2, -02 x 3, -05 x1.


We develop hardware such as recording chamber system for slice preparation and optics or electrical circuits.  We are also developing software in IgorPro Macro, C, C++.

Schatten unter Fotoreihe.


Filmaufnahmen in FullHD
Hochwertige Filmmusik
Filmkommentare von Voice-Over Sprechern




Dr. Riichi Kajiwara

Interview für den Imagefilm
Filmaufnahmen aus der Vogelperspektive
Veröffentlichung der Imagefilme bei YouTube


Dr. Ichiro Takashima

Shinshu Univ.

Prof. Sasaki

Marine Biological Laboratory

Tani, Maki-Tani 研究室

Interview für den Imagefilm
Filmaufnahmen aus der Vogelperspektive
Veröffentlichung der Imagefilme bei YouTube

Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute


Tokushima Univ.

Prof. Yoshimura

Yamaguchi Univ.

Prof. Hori

We are seeking collaborators

Takashi Tominaga

Takashi Tominaga, Ph.D., is a Professor at Institute of Neuroscience and Kagawa School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Tokushima Bunri University. He received his B.S (Biology) and Ph.D. (Biology) from the University of Tsukuba (Prof. Yutaka Naitoh).  He was a staff scientist in the Laboratory for Brain Operative Devices (Team Leader:  Michinori Ichikawa, Ph.D.), Brain-way Group (Group Leader: Gen Matsumoto, Ph.D.) at Riken Brain Science Insitute (BSI) as one of the starting scientists since 1997. He was also a visiting scientist of Prof. Liu Guosong's Laboratory at RIKEN-MIT 2004-2005 and Prof. Susumu Tonegawa's Laboratory at MIT 2008. He has been developing an imaging method to analyze how brain circuit performs complex information processing with use of voltage-sensitive dye (VSD). Especially he is interested in the mechanism how hippocampus and entorhinal cortex contribute to episodic memory at the single cell and circuit levels in healthy and diseased brains. 

Professor Tominaga's current research focuses on an understanding of how neural circuits in the brain performs complex information processing and how dysfunction in these circuits leads to neuropsychiatric disorders such as ASD, AD, schizophrenia, depression, and PTSD. He is enthusiastic to develop optical recording techniques of brain circuit functions with VSD and GEVI. 

Takashi Tominaga, Ph.D.

Professor of the Institute of Neuroscience, Tokushima Bunri University,

Professor of the Kagawa School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tokushima Bunri University


We are seeking graduate students and collaborators


Instituite of Neuroscience,

Tokushima Bunri University,

1314-1 Shido, Sanuki, KAGAWA 769-2193, JAPAN