A02 Elucidation of neural mechanisms of super-adaptation to body change

Research Outline

Kazuhiko SEKI

From the cradle to the grave, the musculoskeletal structure of the human body is changing continuously. It can change with a prolonged time constant with predictive manner, following a biological process of development and aging. It also could change immediately without any prediction, like a traffic accident and some disease. Notably, we can spend our daily life by using this changing body structure, with the aid of practice or rehabilitation therapy occasionally. This is a clear example that our central nervous system (CNS) could adapt and keep communicating with our body by making adaptive changes corresponding to the change of bodily structure predictably or unpredictably. So far, however, it is not established how the CNS adapts to the continuously changing body and what is the trigger of its adaptation.

We will address the CNS mechanism of “hyper-adaptiation” corresponding to the ever-changing musculoskeletal structure by establishing the novel animal models and the cutting-edge technology to evaluate their physiological and neuroanatomical processes. By developing the muscle relocation model, where the association of muscle activity and its physical action will be surgically or optogenetically manipulated, we will investigate how the CNS acquire control strategy of their body de novo. We will implement novel neurophysiological tools for assessing the hyper-adaptation occurring the multiple levels of the CNS, from the spinal cord, brain stem, and cerebral cortex. Data obtained by these experiments will be shared with other members of the hyper-adaptability area to establish a systems engineering model that could describe the shared mechanism of hyper-adaptation in the multiple CNS levels.


Principal investigator Kazuhiko SEKI Director, NCNP
Co-investigator Shinji KUBOTA Section chief, NCNP
Yuki HARA Orthopedic director, NCNP Hospital
Roland PHILLIPP Postdoctoral fellow, NCNP
Amit YARON Postdoctoral fellow, NCNP
Akito KOSUGI Postdoctoral fellow, NCNP
Satomi KIKUTA Postdoctoral fellow, NCNP
Junichiro YOSHIDA Postdoctoral fellow, NCNP
Shun NAKAMURA Undergraduate Student, NCNP
Shiro EGAWA Special Postdoctoral Researcher, RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research