HOME >> 

ISODA, Masaki


After five years of clinical training as a neurologist, I turned my career into basic research work in the field of neuroscience. My goal in research is to uncover the neuronal basis of higher brain functions, with particular emphasis on cognition, emotion, and action. For this purpose, I have carried out a series of experiments by largely using a single-cell recording technique combined with electrical microstimulation and anatomical investigations in macaque monkeys. My early work with Dr. Jun Tanji at Tohoku University centered on cortical mechanisms of the sequential control of multiple actions and prefrontal mechanisms of the categorization of behavioral sequences. I then studied cortico-basal ganglia mechanisms of switching from automatic to controlled behavior with Dr. Okihide Hikosaka at the National Eye Institute. After coming back to Japan, I started a challenging project investigating the neural basis of social brain functions in physiology and disease. Since then, social neuroscience research using macaques has brought me a great deal of excitement and I therefore keep extending my ideas along these lines. Currently, I am studying neuronal mechanisms of reward value processing in social contexts. In parallel with these studies, I have investigated cerebro-basal ganglia-cerebellar mechanisms underlying tic disorders using a nonhuman primate model of Tourette syndrome. All of my studies provide important insights into how mental activities in physiology and diseases are mediated by an ensemble of neuronal activities in local and global brain networks.

Selected publications

Yoshida K, Go Y, Kushima I, Toyoda A, Fujiyama A, Imai H, Saito N, Iriki A, Ozaki N & Isoda M (2016) Single-neuron and genetic correlates of autistic behavior in macaque. Science Advances 2: e1600558.

Yoshida K, Saito N, Iriki A & Isoda M (2012) Social error monitoring in macaque frontal cortex. Nature Neuroscience 15: 1307-1312.

Yoshida K, Saito N, Iriki A & Isoda M (2011) Representation of others’ action by neurons in monkey medial frontal cortex. Current Biology 21: 249-253.

Isoda M & Hikosaka O (2007) Switching from automatic to controlled action by monkey medial frontal cortex. Nature Neuroscience 10: 240-248.

Shima K, Isoda M, Mushiake H & Tanji J (2007) Categorization of behavioral sequences in the prefrontal cortex. Nature 445: 315-318.