Associate Professor Hitoshi AONUMA, D.Sci.  

Complex Systems Research Group, RIES, Hokkaido University

Laboratory of Neurocybernetics, Biosystem Science Course, Graduate School of Life Science 


Key Words

Neuroethology, Invertebrate, Neuroscience, Neuromodulation, Neurogenetics, Modelling, Robotics

   Animals alter their behavior in order to respond to the demands of changing environments. Society and crowd are also one of the dynamic environments. We have investigated the design principle of neuronal mechanisms underlying adaptive behavior including social adaptability in animals. We then focus on how animals select and decide their behavior depending on previous experiences. Aggressive behavior in insects provide us great model systems to investigate the neuronal mechanisms underlying emerging adaptive behaviors. We focus on insect and some kinds of invertebrate animals to investigate neuronal mechanisms of adaptive behavior, since they have rather simple and identical nervous systems.

  We have focused on cricket aggressive agonistic behavior that is released by cuticle pheromones. Most of pheromone induced stereotyped behaviors in insects and pheromone behaviors have been thought to be hard-wired: a behavior that could be turn on and off but with no plasticity. However, some of pheromone behaviors are revealed to be modified by their previous experiences. Cricket aggressive behavior is an example of such pheromone induced behaviors. The responses of males to the pheromone can be modified by the previous fighting experiences. The behavior of insects has been understood that internal states and external environments drastically mediate threshold of releasing behavior or releasing behavioral pattern. Previous social interaction such as mating and agonistic interaction mediates following behavior. 

   We have concentrated on revealing behavioral and physiological aspects of socially adaptive behaviors. We perform neurophysiological, behavioral, neurochemical, genetical and pharmacological approaches to understand physiology of aggressive behavior. Then based on our results from biological experiments, we build dynamic system models to bridge the gap between behavior and physiology.

    In this laboratory, graduate students learn how diversity of living organisms is produced, based on our knowledge on structure and function of individual cells and their constituents. In particular, we will focus on the mechanisms for maintaining the homeostasis of basic cellular functions and organisms, as well as on the principles for the continuity and diversity of life. We will also promote morphological studies of cells and organisms, including analysis of dynamic behavior of individual molecules in a spatio-temporal manner.

Call for JSPS Research Fellows  

To promote international scientific cooperation, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science encourages highly qualified researchers from the world over to come to and conduct joint research activities with colleagues at Japanese universities and research institutes. If you want to join us, we can apply JSPS fellowship. 


© Hitoshi AONUMA 2017