Neuroscience Laboratories

Visual Neuroscience Group

Prof. OZAWA Izumi Prof. OZAWA Izumi


Vision, Neuron, Visual information processing, Brain

Understanding information transmitted by individual visual neurons

The long-term objective of our research is to elucidate how the visual part of the cerebral cortex analyzes information that enters through the two eyes. By using advanced visual stimuli, recordings responses of multiple single neurons and optical imaging techniques, neural mechanisms for visual perception located within and beyond the primary visual cortex are analyzed. Since vision is an active process in which humans and animals move their eyes and capture selected visua1 information, joint understanding of both the sensory and oculomotor aspects is essential, For this reason, we are also conducting research on oculomotor control mechanisms and learning.

Data acquisition and experiment control system for studying responses of visual neurons.


Izumi Ohzawa (Professor) ohzawa[at]
Kouta Sasaki (Assistant Professor) kota[at]
Sachiyo Fujioka (Secretary) fujioka[at]

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What is your hot research topic?
We are studying the manner in which visual information is represented in the intermediate stages of the visual pathway of primates using multielectrode recording techniques.
What is your breakthrough or research progress in the last 5 years?
Previously, it has been thought that pooling signals from many neurons will broaden the selectivity or tuning of neurons. However, we have discovered that this is not necessarily the case. There are cases where pooling sharpens selectivity of neurons for other aspects of visual stimuli.
What kind of background do your lab members have?
Our lab consists mainly of members with strong backgrounds in mathematical and engineering analytical skills.
What kind of careers do your Lab's alumni go on to?
Many graduates with a Ph.D. degree are engaged in research about the brain at institutions within and outside Japan. Some Ph.D. have chosen careers in industry, in electronics and information technology fields. Majority of graduates with a masters degree are in industry, again in electronics and information technology fields.

Research Highlights

Publications (Research Articles, Reviews, Books)


Kanda Y, Sasaki KS, Ohzawa I, Tamura H

Deleting object selective units in a fully-connected layer of deep convolutional networks improves classification performance

arXiv 2001.07811  2020


Watanabe M, Okada KI, Hamasaki Y, Funamoto M, Kobayashi Y, MacAskill M, Anderson

Ocular drift reflects volitional action preparation.

Eur. J. Neurosci. 50(2)  2019 PMID:30719791 DOI:10.1111/ejn.14365


Kenjiro Michimoto, Yasuyuki Suzuki, Ken Kiyono, Yasushi Kobayashi, Pietro Morasso, Taishin Nomura

Reinforcement learning for stabilizing an inverted pendulum naturally leads to intermittent feedback control as in human quiet standing

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), 2016 IEEE 38th Annual International Conference 37-40  2016 PMID:28268275 DOI:10.1109/EMBC.2016.7590634

Ken-ichi Okada, Yasushi Kobayashi

Reward and Behavioral Factors Contributing to the Tonic Activity of Monkey Pedunculopontine Tegmental Nucleus Neurons during Saccade Tasks

Frontiers in Systems Neurosci. 10  2016 PMID:27891082 DOI:10.3389/fnsys.2016.00094

Fumika Mori, Ken-ichi Okada, Taishin Nomura, Yasushi Kobayashi

The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus as a motor and cognitive interface between the cerebellum and basal ganglia

Front. Neuroanat. 10  2016 PMID:27872585 DOI:10.3389/fnana.2016.00109

Kato D, Baba M, Sasaki KS, Ohzawa I.

Effects of generalized pooling on binocular disparity selectivity of neurons in the early visual cortex.

Philos. Trans. R. Soc. B-Biol. Sci. 371(1697)  2016 PMID:27269609 DOI:10.1098/rstb.2015.0266

Ideal Candidate (To Graduate Student)

We are looking for a highly motivated person to work on our research topics as our lab member. Our lab welcomes the person who loves taking care of creatures, hand working and handcraft too. Any kind of background (such as your expertise or major) is available.


Visual Neuroscience Group, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University,
1-4 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 Japan.

TEL: +81-6-6879-4434

E-mail: ohzawa[at] (Prof. Izumi Ohzawa)

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