Inagaki Lab

We study Neural Dynamics and Cognitive Functions

Hidehiko Inagaki

Research Group Leader

(561) 972-9000



Dr. Inagaki started his Research Group Leader position at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) in September 2019 leading the Neural Dynamics and Cognitive Functions research group. His current research focus is to understand cellular and network mechanisms underlying cognitive functions, such as decision making and time perception, in mice.

Prior to this appointment, Inagaki was a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Janelia Research Campus of Howard Hughes Medical Institute, working with Dr. Karel Svoboda. At Janelia, he studied the neuronal mechanism of short-term memory in frontal cortex.

Inagaki completed his Ph.D. under the mentorship of Dr. David J. Anderson at California Institute of Technology. For his graduate work, he studied the neuronal mechanism of internal states in Drosophila. For his B.S., he worked in Kei Ito’s lab at the University of Tokyo, where he studied the anatomical and physiological properties of mechanosensory neurons in Drosophila.

He is the recipient of numerous honors including Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award and Larry Katz Memorial Lecture Award.

Research Topic

A central goal of systems neuroscience is to understand the network mechanisms underlying our cognitive functions. Cognitive functions, such as decision-making and short-term memory, process and maintain external sensory information. In addition, cognitive functions are strongly influenced by so-called internal states in our daily life. For example, internal drives, such as hunger and thirst, bias our behavioral decisions toward eating or drinking to compensate for these needs. Furthermore, brains internally track the passage of time in order to take actions with appropriate timing, which is called urgency. Although it is the basis of our natural behavior, the neuronal mechanism underlying these specific and diverse effects of internal states on cognitions remain mostly unknown.

Our research goal is to develop a cellular and network level understanding of how internal states, such as internal drives and urgency, modify dynamics in the frontal cortex to influence cognitive functions. To achieve the goals, we will employ multidisciplinary approaches, including creating new molecular tools for circuit interrogation, developing novel ethologically relevant behavioral tasks, building theoretical models to generate testable predictions, and recording neurophysiological responses in conjunction with optogenetic manipulations.

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Inagaki Lab

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