It is known that the hypothalamus functions as the center of instinctive behavior (Appetite, Sleep/wakefulness, sexual behavior, etc.). Impaired regulation of these instinctive behaviors at the appropriate time can lead to hypersomnia, eating disorders, and abnormal libido. In addition, mood and judgment that are different from usual when you are hungry or sleep deprived. This fact indicates that the hypothalamus is involved in not only exhibit instinctive behaviors, but also have a great influence on higher brain functions such as motivation, memory, and decision making. Therefore, the elucidation of the mechanisms regulating instinctive behavior leads to the understanding of the principles of human behavior. Our main research target is peptide-containing neurons in the hypothalamus. We are conducting research to clarify, at the molecular, cellular, and whole animal levels, the neural networks that regulate instinctive behavior and their operating principles through multifaceted analysis combining molecular biology, histochemistry, electrophysiology, behavioral pharmacology, and optogenetics and chemogenetics.
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