Laboratory for Neural Circuit Theory

Welcome to Fukai Lab!


  High-level functions of the brain, such as perception, learning and memory, decision making, etc., emerge from computations by neuronal networks. My lab uses theoretical and electrophysiological approaches to better understand the fundamental properties of neural networks.

  Uncovering the circuit mechanism is particularly important as I consider that most of the advantages of brain's computation reside in the way the brain implements it by neural circuits. The brain is believed to utilize noise for modeling the external world for performing robust and flexible computations in sensory perception, decision making, and so on. The low energy consumption of the brain (~ a few tens of watts) also suggests that the powerful computations performed by the brain do not require a code with a clear separation between signals and noise.

  The goal of our research is to uncover the principles of the brain's stochastic computation and to provide the theoretical basis for creating brain-style computing machines.

Current research interests

  • Stochastic computation by the brain and its circuit mechanism
  • Neural dynamics and information representations
  • Theoretical/experimental studies of cortical microcircuit functions
  • Information analysis of neural ensemble data

Major publications

  • Teramae J, Tsubo Y, Fukai T (2012) Optimal spike-based communication in excitable networks with strong-sparse and weak-dense links, Scientific Reports 2, 485. doi:10.1038/srep00485.
  • Igarashi J, Isomura Y, Arai K, Harukuni R and Fukai T (2012) A theta-gamma oscillation code for neuronal coordination during motor behavior, J Neurosci. 33: 18515-18530
  • Tsubo Y, Isomura Y, Fukai T (2012) Power-law inter-spike interval distributions infer a conditional maximization of entropy in cortical neurons, PLoS Computational Biology, e1002461.
  • Gilson M, Fukai T (2011) Stability versus Neuronal Specialization for STDP: Long-Tail Weight Distributions Solve the Dilemma, PLoS ONE 6(10), e25339.
  • Isomura Y, Harukuni R, Takekawa T, Aizawa H, Fukai T (2009) Microcircuitry coordination of cortical motor information in self-initiation of voluntary movements, Nature Neuroscience 12, 1586-1593.
  • Okamoto H, Fukai T. (2009) Recurrent network models for perfect temporal integration of fluctuating correlated inputs, PLoS Comput. Biol. 5(6) e1000404.
  • Sakai Y, Fukai T (2008) When does reward maximization lead to matching law? PLoS ONE 3(11), e3795.
  • Fukai T, Kanemura S (2001) Noise-tolerant stimulus discrimination by synchronization with depressing synapses, Biological Cybernetics 85, 107-116.
  • Okamoto H, Fukai T (2001) A neural mechanism for cognitive timer, Physical Review Letters 86, 3919-3922.
  • Fukai T (2000) Neuronal communication within synchronous gamma oscillations, NeuroReport 11, 3457-3460.
  • Fukai T (1999) Sequence generation in arbitrary temporal patterns from theta-nested gamma oscillations: A model of the basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical loops. Neural Networks 12, 975-987.
  • Fukai T, Tanaka S (1997) A simple neural network exhibiting selective activation of neuronal ensembles: From winner-take-all to winners-share-all, Neural Computation 9, 77-97.
  • Shiino M, Fukai T (1993) Self-consistent signal-to-noise analysis of the statistical behavior of analog neural networks & enhancement of the storage capacity, Physical Review E48, 867-897.

News & Topics

2017/10/17 Publications
Naoki Hiratani and Tomoki Fukai. Detailed dendritic excitatory/inhibitory balance through heterosynaptic spike-timing-dependent plasticity. The Journal of Neuroscience , in press (bioRxiv 056093)

2017/01/18 Publications
Takashi Handaet al, Medial frontal circuit dynamics represents probabilistic choices for unfamiliar sensory experience, Cerebral Cortex

2016/05/31 Publications
Miyamoto et al, Top-down cortical input during NREM sleep consolidates perceptual memory, Science

2016/05/10 Publications
Hiratani and Fukai, Hebbian wiring plasticity generates efficient network structures for robust inference with synaptic weight plasticity, Frontiers in Neural Circuits

2016/04/27 New member
Kento Suzuki

Fukai made presentation at Workshop on High-Performance Computing, Stochastic Modeling and Database in Neuroscience, NeuroMat, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

2016/02/25 - 28
DeCostanzo, Haga and Hiratani made presentations at Computational and Systems Neuroscience (Cosyne) 2016

2015/09/24 Publications
Omura et al, A lognormal recurrent network model for burst generation during hippocampal sharp waves, J Neurosci 2015

2015/10/17 - 21
Kurikawa and Haga made presentations at Society for Neuroscience (SfN) 2015

2015/09/02 - 04
Hayakawa and Haga made presentations at the 25th Annual Conference of Japanese Neural Network Society (JNNS) 2015

2015/09/02 - 04
Hiratani made a presentation at Neural Coding, Computation and Dynamics (NCCD) 2015

Fukai talked at IEEE CIS Summer School on Neuromorphic and Cyborg Intelligent Systems

Fukai talked at Convergent Science of Mind and Brain

2015/07/28 - 31
Takekawa, Hayakawa and Watanabe made presentations at the 38th Annual Meeting of the Japan Neuroscience Society (JNS) 2015

2015/07/18 - 23
Kurikawa made a presentation at Computational Neuroscience Society (CNS) 2015

2015/04/24 Publications
Hiratani, Mixed Signal Learning by Spike Correlation Propagation in Feedback Inhibitory Circuits, PLoS Computational Biology

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Lab. for Neural Circuit Theory, RIKEN Brain Science Institute
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama, 351-0198 JAPAN