Tomonori Takeuchi

Associate Professor, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark and Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh, UK

During his AIAS-COFUND Junior fellowship Associate Professor Tomonori Takeuchi will be working on the project "Enhancing everyday memory with novelty".

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

Contact information on Tomonori Takeuchi (available on 1 Feb 2018)

Project description

Most of our everyday memories are forgotten. However, the retention of these trivial memories is enhanced when something novel/salient happens shortly before or after the time of memory encoding. Dopamine signaling in the hippocampus plays an important role in this novelty-associated memory enhancement. We recently made a ground-breaking finding (Takeuchi et al., Nature, 2016): projections from the noradrenergic locus coeruleus to the hippocampus can drive the novelty-induced memory enhancement via non-canonical release of dopamine. This is a completely new concept that I will explore by uncovering the molecular mechanisms of novelty detection and subsequent dopamine-dependent memory modulation.  

I would like to address two issues: 

(1) Which brain area detects novelty and how its signal reaches the locus coeruleus?

(2) Which proteins play crucial roles in novelty-induced memory enhancement in the hippocampus? 

I will use sophisticated and well-defined everyday memory tasks in rats, designed to mimic the typical memory of daily life in humans, combined with a multidisciplinary approach. Identification of proteins that enhance memory retention will have the potential to reveal new drug targets for treatment/restoration of lost memory function.

Academic profile

I am dedicated to the understanding of molecular mechanisms of learning and memory. Early in my career, I focused on the molecular basis of cerebellar motor learning. Since 2008, I have focused on memory for events and facts that depend on the hippocampus. I investigated neural mechanisms that are responsible for assimilation of new memory into neocortical knowledge structure, and selective retention of trivial memory in the hippocampus through neuromodulation.