Jun Tanji

Jun Tanji
Affiliation Tamagawa University Brain Science Institute, Touhoku University Brain Science Center
Position Title Professorial Lecturer & Dean , Touhoku University Brain Science Center, Director
Role Neural mechanisms of cognition and decision making

Research Interests


The main aim of studies in our research laboratory is to clarify brain mechanisms controlling motor behavior of primates. In particular, we are focusing on the question of how the frontal cortex is working to formulate a strategy to achieve behavioral goals, how an action plan is selected, and how a motor plan is formulated.


  • Neurons in the cingulate motor area signal context-based and outcome-based volitional selection of action. , Iwata JI, Shima K, Tanji J, Mushiake H. , Exp Brain Res, 2013/03, [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23455722
  • Goal-oriented, flexible use of numerical operations by monkeys. , Okuyama S, Iwata JI, Tanji J, Mushiake H. , Anim Cogn. 2013, 2013, 509 - 518
  • Involvement of the globus pallidus in behavioral goal determination and action specification, Nariko Arimura, Yoshihisa Nakayama, Tomoko Yamagata, Jun Tanji, and Eiji Hoshi, Journal of Neuroscience, 2013, in press
  • Distinct information representation and processing for goal-directed behavior in the dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and the dorsal premotor cortex, Yamagata T, Nakayama Y, Tanji J, Hoshi E., J Neurosci., 2012/09, 32(37), 12934 - 12949
  • Neuronal activity in the primate dorsomedial prefrontal cortex contributes to strategic selection of response tactics. , Matsuzaka Y, Akiyama T, Tanji J, Mushiake H. , Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. , 2012, 109(12), 4633 - 8
  • Representational switching by dynamical reorganization of attractor structure in a network model of the prefrontal cortex., Katori Y, Sakamoto K, Saito N, Tanji J, Mushiake H, Aihara K. , PLoS Comput Biol., 2011/11, 7(11):e1002266
  • Deciphering elapsed time and predicting action timing from neuronal population signals. , Shinomoto S, Omi T, Mita A, Mushiake H, Shima K, Matsuzaka Y, Tanji J. , Front Comput Neurosci., 2011/06, 5:29
  • Development of multidimensional representations of task phases in the lateral prefrontal cortex. , Saga Y, Iba M, Tanji J, Hoshi E., J Neurosci., 2011, 31(29), 10648 - 10665
  • Origins of multisynaptic projections from the basal ganglia to rostrocaudally distinct sectors of the dorsal premotor area in macaques. , Saga Y, Hirata Y, Takahara D, Inoue K, Miyachi S, Nambu A, Tanji J, Takada M, Hoshi E. , Eur J Neurosci., 2011, 33(2), 285 - -297
  • Deficits in action selection based on numerical information after inactivation of the posterior parietal cortex in monkeys, Sawamura H, Shima K, Tanji J., J Neurophysiol, 2010, 104(2), 902 - 910
  • Dopamine signals for reward value and risk: basic and recent data., Schultz Wolfram, Behavioral and brain functions : BBF, 2010, 6, 24
  • Motor and non-motor projections from the cerebellum to rostrocaudally distinct sectors of the dorsal premotor cortex in macaques. , 1. Hashimoto M, Takahara D, Hirata Y, Inoue K, Miyachi S, Nambu A, Tanji J, Takada M, Hoshi E. , Eur J Neurosci. , 2010, 31(8):, 1402 - 1413
  • Covert representation of second-next movement in the pre-supplementary motor area of monkeys, Nakajima T, Hosaka R, Mushiake H, Tanji J., J Neurophysiol, 2009, 101, 1883 - 1889
  • Which object appeared longer?, Tanji J, Mushiake H., Neuron, 2009, 63, 148 - 1499
  • Interval time coding by neurons in the presupplementary and supplementary motor areas, Mita A, Mushiake H, Shima K, Matsuzaka Y, Tanji J., Nat Neurosci, 2009, 12, 502 - 507
  • Neural activity in the human brain signals logical rule identification. , Tachibana K, Suzuki K, Mori E, Miura N, Kawashima R, Horie K, Sato S, Tanji J, Mushiake H. , J Neurophysiol. , 2009, 102(3):, 1526 - 1537
  • Relating neuronal firing patterns to functional differentiation of cerebral cortex. , Shinomoto S, Kim H, Shimokawa T, Matsuno N, Funahashi S, Shima K, Fujita I, Tamura H, Doi T, Kawano K, Inaba N, Fukushima K, Kurkin S, Kurata K, Taira M, Tsutsui K, Komatsu H, Ogawa T, Koida K, Tanji J, Toyama K. , PLoS Comput Biol., 2009, 5:e1000433
  • Processing of visual signals for direct specification of motor targets and for conceptual representation of action targets in the dorsal and ventral premotor cortex., Yamagata T, Nakayama Y, Tanji J, Hoshi E. , J Neurophysiol. , 2009, 102:, 3280 - 3294
  • Covert representation of second-next movement in the pre-supplementary motor area of monkeys. , Nakajima T, Hosaka R, Mushiake H, Tanji J. , J Neurophysiol. , 2009, 101, 1883 - 1889
  • Role of the lateral prefrontal cortex in executive behavioral control, Tanji J., Hoshi E., Physiol Rev, 2008, 88(1), 37 - 57
  • Discharge synchrony during the transition of behavioral goal representations encoded by discharge rates of prefrontal neurons, Sakamoto,K., Mushiake,H., Saito,N., Aihara, K., Yano, M. ,Tanji,J., Cereb Cortex, 2008, 18(9), 2036 - 2045
  • Transformation of a virtual action plan into a motor plan in the premotor cortex. , Nakayama Y, Yamagata T, Tanji J, Hoshi E. , J Neurosci. , 2008, 28(41):, 10287 - 10297
  • Categorization of behavioral sequences in the prefrontal cortex, Shima,K., Isoda,M., Mushiake,H., Tanji,J., Nature, 2007, 445, 315 - 318
  • Decoding higher-order motor information from primate non-primary motor cortices, Nakajima,T., Mushiake,H., Inui, T., Tanji,J., Technol Health Care, 2007, 15(2), 103 - 110
  • Binary-coded monitoring of a behavioral sequence by cells in the pre-supplementary motor area, Shima,K., Tanji,J., J Neurosci, 2006, 26(9), 2579 - 2582
  • Differential involvement of neurons in the dorsal and ventral premotor cortex during processing of visual signals for action planning, Hoshi,E., Tanji,J., J Neurophysiol, 2006, 95, 3596 - 3616
  • Activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex reflects multiple steps of future events in action plans, Mushiake,H., Saito,N., Sakamoto,K., Itoyama,Y., Tanji,J., Neuron, 2006, 50, 631 - 641
  • Design of a head fixation device for experiments in behaving monkeys, Isoda,M., Tsutsui,K., Katsuyama,N., Naganuma,T., Saito,N., Furusawa,Y., Mushiake,H., Taira,M., Tanji,J., J Neurosci, 2005, 141, 277 - 282
  • Involvement of the ventral premotor cortex in controlling image motion of the hand during performance of a target-capturing task, Ochiai,T., Mushiake,H., Tanji,J., Cereb Cortex, 2005, 15, 929 - 937
  • Representation of immediate and final behavioral goals in the monkey prefrontal cortex during an instructed delay period, Saito,N., Mushiake,H., Tanji,J., Cereb Cortex, 2005, 15, 1535 - 46
  • Prefrontal cortical cells projecting to the supplementary eye field and presupplementary motor area in the monkey, Wang,Y., Isoda,M., Matsuzaka,Y., Shima,K., Tanji,J., Neurosci Res, 2005, 53, 1 - 7
  • Neurons in the rostral cingulate motor area monitor multiple phases of visuomotor behavior with modest parametric selectivity, Hoshi,E., Sawamura,H., tanji,J., J Neurophysiol, 2005, 94(1), 640 - 656


  • Premotor areas: medial. Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. pp. 925-933, Tanji, J. and Hoshi, E, Elsevier, 2009
  • Cortical mechanisms for Cognitive Control of Motor Selection. In: From Basic Motor Control to Functional Recovery, Tanji J., Hoshi E., Shima K., Matsuzaka Y., Ed By Gantchev N St Kliment Ohridski Univ Press Sofia, 2003
  • Multiple cortical motor areas and temporal sequencing of movements. In: Brain and Mind, Ed By M. Ito , Inase M., Sakai ST., Tanji J., Elsevier Amsterdam, 1997
  • Motor areas in the medial frontal cortex of primates: differences in neuronal activity. In Perception, memory and emotion: frontiers neuroscience , Tanji J., shima K., Musiake H., Matuzaka Y., Eds.T, Ono.,BL, McNaughton.,S, Molotchnik.,off, ET Rolles & H Nishino. Pergamon Oxford, 1996

International Conferences

  • Tanji J, Guest lecture, A new look at the workings of premotor and prefrontal cortex , 16th International Conference on Biomagnetism, Sapporo, Japan, 2009/08/25-2009/08/29
  • Saga Y., Takahara D., Miyachi S., Samejima K., Takada M., Tanji J. and Hoshi E, , Poster presentation, The dorsal aspect of area 46 (area 46d) and dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) receive specific, as well as common, inputs from the frontal and parietal cortex, Soc. , Neurosci. Abstr. 182.6,, 2008
  • Nakayama, Y, Yamagata, T, Tanji, J., and Hoshi, E,, Poster presentation, Differential involvement of the dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) and the primary motor cortex (MI) in indirect visuomotor behavior. , Soc. Neurosci. Abstr., Soc. Neurosci. Abstr. 182.3, 2008
  • Yamagata, T., Nakayama, Y., Tanji, J., and Hoshi, E.,, Poster presentation, Involvement of the dorsal and ventral premotor cortex (PMd and PMv) in direct vs. indirect visuomotor behavior, Soc. , Neurosci. Abstr. 182.2, 2008
  • Tanji J, Representation of action concept in the absence of motor target in the premotor cortex , Annual Symposium of the IAP meeting IUAP/PAI P6/29, Leuven, Belgium, 2007/12/13
  • Tanji J, Neuronal activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during behavioral planning , International Symposium on executive Functions and the Frontal Lobe, Tübingen, Germany, 2005/12/02-2005/12/03
  • Tanji J , What is programmed in the lateral prefrontal cortex?, SPS-UCL Large-scale Symposium, London, 2005/09/08-2005/09/09

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