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.
Motor control by sensory feedback
Currently, the lab focuses on how different types of sensory feedback circuits control repetitive and complex motor behavior, with a primary focus on proprioceptive and visual feedback. In particular, we study 1) mechanisms of circuit function and plasticity that lead to motor learning and 2) how different types of sensory feedback circuits control repetitive and complex motor behavior, with a primary focus on somatosensory and visual feedback.
Our aims are to understand how sensory feedback are processed through neurocircuits at the level of the cortex, midbrain, brainstem or spinal cord to facilitate motor learning in heath and after traumatic injury to compensate for and contribute to motor recovery.
A multidisciplinary approach
We use a wide variety of methods, including detailed motor kinematic assessments, mouse genetics, viral tracing and manipulation, electrophysiological and imaging techniques.
This combinatorial approach allows us to manipulate functions of specific neuronal populations, which in turn helps us to understand their roles in sensory information processing necessary for motor output and plasticity.