Toshihiro Kitamoto Ph.D.

Toshihiro  Kitamoto Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Anesthesia and Pharmacology
319-335-7924
Fax: 
319-356-2940
1-316
BSB
Lab phone: 
319-335-8208
1-376
BSB
Research Focus: 

How does the nervous system control complex behavior? How do experience and genetic variation modify it? The goal of our research is to answer these fundamental questions in neuroscience. We use the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster as an experimental animal, and integrate knowledge of the nervous system at the molecular, cellular, systemic and whole animal levels. The current focus is on male courtship behavior. This behavior consists of a highly stereotypical sequence of activities that are genetically determined, but also shows considerable experience-dependent plasticity called \"courtship conditioning\". By examining the behavior of various genetic variants, we study the function of particular genes in different aspects of courtship. In addition, using a recently developed strategy that allows one to perturb synaptic transmission rapidly and reversibly in a spatially restricted manner in intact animals, we investigate the significance of particular neuronal subsets in sexual orientation, courtship initiation, and courtship memory. Our multidisciplinary research is expected to provide new insights into the basic mechanisms underlying higher-order brain functions that control complex behavior.

Faculty affiliations: 
Research Mode: 
Experimental
Research Paradigm(s): 
Gene-environment Interactions and Interplay
Applications: 
Behavior and Mental Disorders
Nervous System
Organisms: 
Drosophila
College: 
Carver College of Medicine

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