Satoko Amemori

Satoko Amemori

Researcher (Amemori-G)

JSPS Postdoc
Research Field
Neurophysiology, Neuroanatomy

Research Overview

Cortico-basal ganglia circuit under conflict decision-making

We make countless decisions every day, but many of them are not simple and straightforward. Often, we are faced with conflicting choices that can trigger negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, and avoidance. Despite the significant impact of negative emotions on decision-making, the neural mechanisms underlying this process remain poorly understood. To address this issue, we conducted electrical microstimulation in various regions of the cortico-basal ganglia circuit in monkeys and identified regions associated with negative emotions. We also used fMRI and viral tracers to map out a neural network associated with negative emotions, which included the limbic cortex and striosomal structure of the striatum. To gain a deeper understanding of how this neural network operates during decision-making, we implanted multi-electrodes chronically in various regions of the network and recorded neural activity simultaneously. Then we examined the neural interaction using granger causality analysis. Our findings revealed that top-down control from cognitive to limbic regions weakened with excessive avoidance. Moving forward, we want to employ state-of-the-art techniques such as chemogenetics and neural imaging to further explore the neural circuitry underlying negative emotions.

Figure: Electrical microstimulation of the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC) (A, B) and caudal orbitofrontal cortex (cOFC) (D, E) induced increase in avoid choices. These areas preferentially projected to the striosomal structure of the striatum (C, F). A, D: The pACC and cOFC receive numerous projections from the amygdala, which is the center of emotion. B, C: Anterograde viral tracers were injected into the sites of pACC and cOFC where an increase in avoidance choice was induced by electrical stimulation. C, F: these sites projected preferentially to striosomes.


She received a medical doctorate from the Graduate School of Medicine at Hokkaido University (2007). Worked as a Postdoctoral Associate (2009) and later as a Research Scientist (2014) at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. After working as a Researcher at the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University (2020), currently serving as a Special Researcher at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science since 2021.


Causal Evidence for Induction of Pessimistic Decision-Making in Primates by the Network of Frontal Cortex and Striosomes. Satoko Amemori, Ann M. Graybiel, Ken-ichi Amemori. Frontiers in Neuroscience 15 (2021)

Dopamine and beta-band oscillations differentially link to striatal value and motor control. H N Schwerdt, K Amemori, D J Gibson, L L Stanwicks, T Yoshida, N P Bichot, S Amemori, R Desimone, R Langer, M J Cima, A M Graybiel. Science advances 6(39) (2020)

Approach-Avoidance Conflict in Major Depressive Disorder: Congruent Neural Findings in Humans and Nonhuman Primates. Maria Ironside, Ken-Ichi Amemori, Callie L McGrath, Mads Lund Pedersen, Min Su Kang, Satoko Amemori, Michael J Frank, Ann M Graybiel, Diego A Pizzagalli. Biological psychiatry 87(5) 399-408 (2020)

Microstimulation of primate neocortex targeting striosomes induces negative decision-making. Satoko Amemori, Ken-Ichi Amemori, Tomoko Yoshida, Georgios K Papageorgiou, Rui Xu, Hideki Shimazu, Robert Desimone, Ann M Graybiel. The European journal of neuroscience 51(3) 731-741 (2020)

Striatal Beta Oscillation and Neuronal Activity in the Primate Caudate Nucleus Differentially Represent Valence and Arousal Under Approach-Avoidance Conflict. Ken-Ichi Amemori, Satoko Amemori, Daniel J Gibson, Ann M Graybiel. Frontiers in neuroscience 14 89-89 (2020)

Predominant Striatal Input to the Lateral Habenula in Macaques Comes from Striosomes. Simon Hong, Satoko Amemori, Emily Chung, Daniel J Gibson, Ken-Ichi Amemori, Ann M Graybiel. Current biology : CB 29(1) 51-61 (2019)

Striatal Microstimulation Induces Persistent and Repetitive Negative Decision-Making Predicted by Striatal Beta-Band Oscillation. Ken-Ichi Amemori, Satoko Amemori, Daniel J Gibson, Ann M Graybiel. Neuron 99(4) 829-841 (2018)

Motivation and affective judgments differentially recruit neurons in the primate dorsolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex. Ken-ichi Amemori, Satoko Amemori, Ann M Graybiel. The Journal of neuroscience 35(5) 1939-53 (2015)

A non-invasive head-holding device for chronic neural recordings in awake behaving monkeys. Satoko Amemori, Ken-Ichi Amemori, Margaret L Cantor, Ann M Graybiel. Journal of neuroscience methods 240 154-60 (2015)

Plasticity of the primate prefrontal cortex. Satoko Kuboshima-Amemori, Toshiyuki Sawaguchi. The Neuroscientist 13(3) 229-40 (2007)


Oct. 1, 2023

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