Department of Systematic Anatomy and Neurobiology

Welcome to our web page. We are investigating the brain structure and function for the oral and orofacial nervous system.

We are also in charge of the lecture and training on macroscopic (gross) and microscopic (histological) anatomy.


ProfessorTakahiro FURUTAfuruta.takahiro.dent (a)
Associate ProfessorFumihiko SATOsatou.fumihiko.dent (a)
Assistant ProfessorJaerin SOHNsohn.jaerin.dent (a)
Postdoctoral fellowYumi TSUTSUMI
Ph.D. Student Yui NISHII
Project ResearcherAtsushi YOSHIDA
Laboratory TechnicianAya TAKENAKA
Laboratory TechnicianNatsuko OHYA
Laboratory SecretaryMizue KUBO
Visiting Ph.D. StudentKoshi IRISA

Research Topics

1. Sensorimotor circuit for tactile perception

Our research interests reside mainly in the brain structures and functions that enable the sensory and motor control of our orofacial regions such as mastication, tasting or swallowing. Neural networks in our brain consist of numerous neurons and complicated connections among these neurons. That is one major reason why it is difficult to understand the mechanisms of our brain. We are trying to reveal “circuit diagrams” with respect to firing properties of neural elements at a single neuron level in the trigeminal sensory and motor system of rodents. Our animal studies use advanced anatomical techniques, single neuron recording/labeling, tissue clarification combined with electron microscopy (EM) and three-dimensional EM analysis. We believe that accumulated knowledge of network architecture in the trigeminal system would contribute to understanding mechanisms of nervous system in orofacial functions.

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2. Neural pathway from jaw-closing muscle spindles

Eating is vital to life – Enjoy eating until the end of one’s life is important in this aging society. Enjoy eating requires the neural mechanisms involving both pathways that convey oral and orofacial sensory information to the brain and those that command proper output for orofacial muscular movement. We aim for the elucidation of neural mechanisms in the central nervous system for this sensorimotor information processing.

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A three dimensional image of a trigeminal motoneuron involving jaw muscle contraction
Three-dimensional data of ultrastructure in the cerebral cortex


→ Since 2016


We provide didactic teaching and lab training to undergraduate students on anatomy, including both gross human anatomy and histology. Anatomical knowledge forms the foundation of good clinical practices in dentistry or in any other branches of medicine. It is only when we know the normal structure of the human body, organs, and tissues, we can begin to understand mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of the human body as well as diseases (abnormalities), making diagnoses, and what it means to medically treat patients. This is why our dentistry program begins with an anatomy course where we give our students in-class systemic instructions on osteology, angiology, neurology, and so on. We also instruct and supervise students in anatomy lab (dissection) and histology lab (microscopy). Cadaveric training gives an extraordinary opportunity for students to reflect upon the sanctity and dignity of human life as well as medical ethics in the greatest gratitude for the sublime wishes of donor and their families.

Our Address

Department of Oral Anatomy and Neurobiology, Graduate School of Dentistry, Osaka University

1-8 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan

☎︎ TEL +81-6-6879-2877, FAX +81-6-6879-2880