Faculty Profile

Yuka Sasaki, PhD

Yuka Sasaki, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School
Assistant Neuroscientist, Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital

See publications


149 13th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129

Phone 617-726-0364
Fax 617-726-7422

Email yuka@nmr.mgh.harvard.edu

Society Memberships

Sleep Research Society
Society for Neuroscience

Research Unit(s)

Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging

Research Interests

My primary research interest is in understanding unconscious brain activity. My current research includes visual/motor skill learning during wakefulness and sleep. I use advanced non-invasive neuroimaging techniques including functional magnetic resonance
imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) to identify human brain activity both during wakefulness and sleep in high spatiotemporal resolution. In addition, I am interested in age related changes in brain activity during wakefulness and sleep.


Yuko Yotsumoto, post-doc, 2005-present
Masako Tamaki, post-doc, 2007-present


Roger Tootell

Research Funding

Current funding:
Japan Science and Technology Agency
"FMRI study of learning consolidation process during sleep"
Role: PI

Completed funding:
J. Christian Gillin, M.D. Research Award
“MRI-constrained spectral imaging of spontaneous neuromagnetic activity during sleep in human cortex associated with visual learning"
Role: PI

Dr. Lynne Ried/Drs. Eleanor and Miles Shore Fellowship (2007)
“Neuroimaging study of sleep consolidation process during sleep"
Role: PI

NIH (2005-2007)
“The Mechanisms of Perceptual Learning”
Role: Consultant

Massachusetts General Hospital Executive Committee on Research, Interim Support Fund (2006-2007)
“Research on memory consolidation mechanism while sleeping”
Role: PI

NIH (2002-2005)
“FMRI Neuronal activity in awake behaving macaques”
Role: Investigator

NTT Communication Science Laboratories (2001-2002)
“Neuroimaging of direction-selective mechanisms for second-order motion”
Role: Investigator

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (1998-2001)
“Psychophysical research of effects of attention on motion perception”
Role: PI

Japan Science and Technology Corporation (1994-1997)
“Noninvasive research on higher information process in human brain by means of fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging)”
Role: PI

Japan Society for the promotion of Science (1993-1994)
“Process of an experimental de-synchronization and re-synchronization between sleep-wake and body temperature rhythm”
Role: PI

Waseda University Grant for Special Research Projects (1993-1994)
“The interactive process of an experimental de-synchronization and re-synchronization between sleep-wake and body temperature rhythm”
Role: PI

Selected Publications

Yotsumoto Y, Chang LH, Watanabe T, Sasaki Y. Interference and feature specificity in visual perceptual learning.
Vision Res. 2009 Oct;49(21):2611-23. Epub 2009 Aug 6.[PMID: 19665036]

Yotsumoto Y, Sasaki Y, Chan P, Vasios CE, Bonmassar G, Ito N, Náñez JE Sr, Shimojo S, Watanabe T. Location-specific cortical activation changes during sleep after training for perceptual learning.
Curr Biol. 2009 Aug 11;19(15):1278-82. Epub 2009 Jul 2. [PMID: 19576772]

Beer AL, Watanabe T, Ni R, Sasaki Y, Andersen GJ. 3D surface perception from motion involves a temporal-parietal network.
Eur J Neurosci. 2009 Aug;30(4):703-13. Epub 2009 Aug 7. [PMID: 19674088]

Kong J, Kaptchuk TJ, Webb JM, Kong JT, Sasaki Y, Polich GR, Vangel MG, Kwong K, Rosen B, Gollub RL. Functional neuroanatomical investigation of vision-related acupuncture point specificity--a multisession fMRI study.
Hum Brain Mapp. 2009 Jan;30(1):38-46. [PMID: 17990299]

Yotsumoto Y, Watanabe T, Sasaki. Different dynamics of performance and brain activation in the time course of perceptual learning. 
Neuron. 2008;57:827-833. [PMID: 18367084]

Tsushima Y, Sasaki Y, Watanabe T. Greater disruption due to failure of inhibitory control on an ambiguous distractor.
Science. 2006;314:1786-8. [PMID: 17170308]

Sasaki Y, Rajimehr R, Kim B, Ekstrom LB, Vanduffel W, Tootell RBH. The radial bias: a different slant on visual orientation sensitivity in human and non-human primates.
Neuron. 2006;1:661-70. [PMID: 16950163]

Sasaki Y, Wanduffel W, Knutsen T, Tyler C, Tootell RBH. Symmetry activates extrastriate visual cortex in human and non-human primates. 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2005; 102:359-63. [PMID: 15710884]

Sasaki Y, Watanabe T. The primary visual cortex fills in color. 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2004;101:18251-18256. [PMID: 15596726]

Sasaki Y, Hadjikhani N, Fischl B, Liu AK, Marrett S, Dale AM, Tootell RB. Local and global attention are mapped retinotopically in human occipital cortex.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Feb 13;98(4):2077-82. Erratum in: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002 Apr 2;99(7):4752. Marret S [corrected to Marrett S]. [PMID: 11172078]

Takeuchi T, Fukuda K, Sasaki Y, Inugami M, Murphy T. Factors related to the occurrence of isolated sleep paralysis elicited during a multi-phasic sleep-wake schedule.
Sleep. 2002;25:89-96. [PMID: 11833865]

Sasaki Y, Fukuda K, Takeuchi T, Inugami M, Miyasita A. Sleep onset REM period appearance rate is affected by REM propensity in circadian rhythm in normal nocturnal sleep.
Clinical Neurophysiology. 2000;111:428-433. [PMID: 10699402]

Sasaki Y, Miyasita A, Takeuchi T, Inugami M, Fukuda K, Ishihara K. Effects of sleep interruption on body temperature in human subjects.
Sleep. 1993;16:478-483. [PMID: 8378688]


Sasaki Y. Processing local signals into global patterns.
Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2007 Apr;17(2):132-9. Epub 2007 Mar 21. Review. [PMID: 17369036]

Sasaki Y. MRI technologies in recent human brain mapping.
Plasma and Fusion Research. 2007; 2; 1004. Review.

Books and Chapters

Sasaki, Y, Watanabe, T. Types of learning curve.
In Springer Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Ono T. Heidelberg, Ed. Germany: Springer. (in press)

Tootell R, Sasaki Y, Knutsen T. Evolution of maps and mapping.
In Evolution of Nervous Systems, vol 4. Preuss TM, Kaas JH, Eds. Oxford, UK: Elsevier. 2007. p.423-435.

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