Takeoka Lab

Motor control by sensory feedback

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Aya Takeoka, PhD

Assistant Professor, KU Leuven
Group leader, NERF and VIB
Member of the Leuven Brain Institute

Contact & Bio

We study how animals generate and control motor behavior in health and disease

Research areas

  • Motor circuit function and connectivity for motor learning and recovery after neurotrauma
  • Role of sensory feedback circuits in motor learning and control


  • quantitative kinematic analyses
  • mouse genetics
  • virus-mediated circuit tracing and functional manipulations
  • in vivo electrophysiology

Our scientific questions

Almost everything we do in our daily lives are learned motor behavior. The central question that the Takeoka lab addresses is how animals learn to generate and control motor output in health and disease. In particular we study mechanisms of circuit assembly, function and plasticity that lead to motor learning and recovery after neurotrauma.


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Key publications

Hannah Bertels, Guillem Vincente Ortiz, Khadija El Kanbi, Aya Takeoka, Neurotransmitter phenotype switching by spinal excitatory interneurons regulates locomotor recovery after spinal cord injury, Nat Neurosci, 2022
Simon Lavaud, Mattia D'Andola, Charlotte Bichara, Aya Takeoka, Electrophysiological signatures reveal spinal learning mechanisms for a lasting sensorimotor adaptation, biorxiv, 2022
Aya Takeoka, Proprioception: Bottom-up directive for motor recovery after spinal cord injury, Neuroscience Research, 2019
Aya Takeoka, Silvia Arber, Functional local proprioceptive feedback circuits initiate and maintain locomotor recovery after spinal cord injury, Cell Reports, April 2, 2019, 2019
Ludwig Ruder, Aya Takeoka, Silvia Arber, Long-distance descending spinal neurons ensure quadrupedal locomotor stability, Neuron, 92(5): 1063-1078, 2016
Emanuela Basaldella, Aya Takeoka, Sigrist Markus, Silvia Arber, Multisensory signaling shapes vestibulo-motor circuit specificity, Cell 163(2), 301-312, 2015