• Tomohiko Yoshizawa
  • Graduate School of Dental Medicine
  • Hokudai Type2020
  • Japan

Specialized Field

Physiology, Neurophysiology 

Outline

Individuals can learn new behaviors in unfamiliar environments by exploring and memorizing sensory cues or actions that lead to good or bad outcomes. For instance, if you touch a hot oven, you very quickly learn not to do it again. Learning by trial-and-error, which can yield positive or negative consequences, is known as reinforcement learning.

Neuroscientists know that a part of the forebrain called basal ganglia plays an important role in reinforcement learning. A major part of the basal ganglia, the striatum, is composed of a patchwork of two types of tissue: the striosome and the matrix. Currently, I am trying to clarify the role of striosome/matrix on reinforcement learning by using electrophysiological recording, calcium imaging and optogenetics.