The Takahashi Laboratory conducts research on a variety of problems in brain development and neuroscience. One line of research concerns typical and atypical development of brain connectivity and gyral formation ranging from fetal to young adult ages. Results collected over the past years in normal fetal samples and healthy newborns/infants suggest that diffusion MRI tractography can detect migratory pathways and emerging axonal connectivity in the preterm brain as early as 15 gestational weeks. Regional variations of developmental speed of different types of axonal pathways and their relationships to gyral formation can also be detected in a 3-dimensional manner.

A second theme of the Takahashi Lab is concerned with optimization of diffusion MRI tractography across brain regions, types of axonal tracts, and in pathologic tissues. One of the major remaining challenges of diffusion MR tractography is to determine optimal fiber reconstruction parameters in different brain regions. It is essential to find optimal fiber reconstruction settings in each brain region, as well as optimal combinations of such parameters across brain regions in order to significantly increase the imaging accuracy of whole brain fiber pathways. Such optimal parameters can also vary in developing brains depending on the degree of myelination. We therefore need to optimize and utilize diffusion MRI tractography to accurately image 3-dimensional fiber trajectories.

A third theme of the lab is to accurately determine the time course of development of brain connectivity in mouse and human whole brains in normal states and with developmental brain disorders using optimized parameters. We have been studying rodent models of developmental brain disorders that are highly associated with mild to severe brain malformations also with disturbances of development of axonal pathways. We will have broad opportunities to apply this line of technique to a number of transgenic disease models and patient populations including axonal degeneration, myelination/neuronal migration problems, and other neurological and psychiatric disorders.

A final, important theme of the lab is concerned with comparisons of brain development across species. Based on the assumption that the neural architecture underlying human brain functions is a consequence of unique developmental processes in humans, we have identified multiple types of brain pathways linked to specific brain functions and compared their developmental time-courses and connectional patterns across species to better understand human brain development.


Dr. Takahashi trained as a medical student for five years and then received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Chiba University School of Medicine in Japan. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in brain imaging of long-term memory and underlying white matter structures at the Boston University School of Medicine and in high-resolution diffusion MRI on developing brains at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, and joined the faculty of Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School in 2010. Her specific interests are concerned with the uniqueness of human brain development, particularly the structural basis underlying normal, unique brain functions in humans. She studies typically developing fetuses, children, and young adults as well as those with or at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders employing diffusion, structural, and functional MRI techniques in her research with combining additional methods.


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Shiohama T, Levman J, Vasung L, Takahashi E. Brain morphological analysis in PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome. Am J Med Genet A. 2020 05; 182(5):1117-1129. View abstract
  2. Vasung L, Rezayev A, Yun HJ, Song JW, van der Kouwe A, Stewart N, Palani A, Shiohama T, Chouinard-Decorte F, Levman J, Takahashi E. Structural and Diffusion MRI Analyses With Histological Observations in Patients With Lissencephaly. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2019; 7:124. View abstract
  3. Shiohama T, McDavid J, Levman J, Takahashi E. The left lateral occipital cortex exhibits decreased thickness in children with sensorineural hearing loss. Int J Dev Neurosci. 2019 Aug; 76:34-40. View abstract
  4. Levman J, MacDonald A, Baumer N, MacDonald P, Stewart N, Lim A, Cogger L, Shiohama T, Takahashi E. Structural magnetic resonance imaging demonstrates abnormal cortical thickness in Down syndrome: Newborns to young adults. Neuroimage Clin. 2019; 23:101874. View abstract
  5. Shiohama T, McDavid J, Levman J, Takahashi E. Quantitative brain morphological analysis in CHARGE syndrome. Neuroimage Clin. 2019; 23:101866. View abstract
  6. Shiohama T, Levman J, Baumer N, Takahashi E. Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Based Brain Morphology Study in Infants and Toddlers With Down Syndrome: The Effect of Comorbidities. Pediatr Neurol. 2019 11; 100:67-73. View abstract
  7. Vasung L, Charvet CJ, Shiohama T, Gagoski B, Levman J, Takahashi E. Ex vivo fetal brain MRI: Recent advances, challenges, and future directions. Neuroimage. 2019 07 15; 195:23-37. View abstract
  8. Levman J, MacDonald P, Rowley S, Stewart N, Lim A, Ewenson B, Galaburda A, Takahashi E. Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging Demonstrates Abnormal Regionally-Differential Cortical Thickness Variability in Autism: From Newborns to Adults. Front Hum Neurosci. 2019; 13:75. View abstract
  9. Levman J, Fang Z, Zumwalt K, Cogger L, Vasung L, MacDonald P, Lim A, Takahashi E. Asymmetric Insular Connectomics Revealed by Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging Analysis of Healthy Brain Development. Brain Connect. 2019 02; 9(1):2-12. View abstract
  10. Shiohama T, Levman J, Takahashi E. Surface- and voxel-based brain morphologic study in Rett and Rett-like syndrome with MECP2 mutation. Int J Dev Neurosci. 2019 Apr; 73:83-88. View abstract
  11. Levman J, Vasung L, MacDonald P, Rowley S, Stewart N, Lim A, Ewenson B, Galaburda A, Takahashi E. Regional volumetric abnormalities in pediatric autism revealed by structural magnetic resonance imaging. Int J Dev Neurosci. 2018 Dec; 71:34-45. View abstract
  12. Rezayev A, Feldman HA, Levman J, Takahashi E. Bilateral thalamocortical abnormalities in focal cortical dysplasia. Brain Res. 2018 09 01; 1694:38-45. View abstract
  13. Wang R, Wilkinson M, Kane T, Takahashi E. Convergence of Cortical, Thalamocortical, and Callosal Pathways during Human Fetal Development Revealed by Diffusion MRI Tractography. Front Neurosci. 2017; 11:576. View abstract
  14. Levman J, MacDonald P, Lim AR, Forgeron C, Takahashi E. A pediatric structural MRI analysis of healthy brain development from newborns to young adults. Hum Brain Mapp. 2017 12; 38(12):5931-5942. View abstract
  15. Charvet CJ, Šimic G, Kostovic I, Knezovic V, Vukšic M, Babic Leko M, Takahashi E, Sherwood CC, Wolfe MD, Finlay BL. Coevolution in the timing of GABAergic and pyramidal neuron maturation in primates. Proc Biol Sci. 2017 Aug 30; 284(1861). View abstract
  16. Vasung L, Raguz M, Kostovic I, Takahashi E. Spatiotemporal Relationship of Brain Pathways during Human Fetal Development Using High-Angular Resolution Diffusion MR Imaging and Histology. Front Neurosci. 2017; 11:348. View abstract
  17. Charvet CJ, Hof PR, Raghanti MA, Van Der Kouwe AJ, Sherwood CC, Takahashi E. Combining diffusion magnetic resonance tractography with stereology highlights increased cross-cortical integration in primates. J Comp Neurol. 2017 Apr 01; 525(5):1075-1093. View abstract
  18. Re TJ, Levman J, Lim AR, Righini A, Grant PE, Takahashi E. High-angular resolution diffusion imaging tractography of cerebellar pathways from newborns to young adults. Brain Behav. 2017 01; 7(1):e00589. View abstract
  19. Dai G, Das A, Hayashi E, Chen Q, Takahashi E. Regional variation of white matter development in the cat brain revealed by ex vivo diffusion MR tractography. Int J Dev Neurosci. 2016 Nov; 54:32-38. View abstract
  20. Levman J, Takahashi E. Pre-Adult MRI of Brain Cancer and Neurological Injury: Multivariate Analyses. Front Pediatr. 2016; 4:65. View abstract
  21. Fame RM, MacDonald JL, Dunwoodie SL, Takahashi E, Macklis JD. Cited2 Regulates Neocortical Layer II/III Generation and Somatosensory Callosal Projection Neuron Development and Connectivity. J Neurosci. 2016 06 15; 36(24):6403-19. View abstract
  22. Amamoto R, Huerta VG, Takahashi E, Dai G, Grant AK, Fu Z, Arlotta P. Adult axolotls can regenerate original neuronal diversity in response to brain injury. Elife. 2016 05 09; 5. View abstract
  23. Wilkinson M, Wang R, van der Kouwe A, Takahashi E. White and gray matter fiber pathways in autism spectrum disorder revealed by ex vivo diffusion MR tractography. Brain Behav. 2016 07; 6(7):e00483. View abstract
  24. Cohen AH, Wang R, Wilkinson M, MacDonald P, Lim AR, Takahashi E. Development of human white matter fiber pathways: From newborn to adult ages. Int J Dev Neurosci. 2016 May; 50:26-38. View abstract
  25. Levman J, Takahashi E. Multivariate Analyses Applied to Healthy Neurodevelopment in Fetal, Neonatal, and Pediatric MRI. Front Neuroanat. 2015; 9:163. View abstract
  26. Wang R, Dai G, Takahashi E. High Resolution MRI Reveals Detailed Layer Structures in Early Human Fetal Stages: In Vitro Study with Histologic Correlation. Front Neuroanat. 2015; 9:150. View abstract
  27. Levman J, Takahashi E. Multivariate analyses applied to fetal, neonatal and pediatric MRI of neurodevelopmental disorders. Neuroimage Clin. 2015; 9:532-44. View abstract
  28. Baumer FM, Song JW, Mitchell PD, Pienaar R, Sahin M, Grant PE, Takahashi E. Longitudinal changes in diffusion properties in white matter pathways of children with tuberous sclerosis complex. Pediatr Neurol. 2015 Jun; 52(6):615-23. View abstract
  29. Re TJ, Scarciolla L, Takahashi E, Specchio N, Bernardi B, Longo D. Magnetic Resonance Fiber Tracking in a Neonate with Hemimegalencephaly. J Neuroimaging. 2015 Sep-Oct; 25(5):844-7. View abstract
  30. Lodato S, Molyneaux BJ, Zuccaro E, Goff LA, Chen HH, Yuan W, Meleski A, Takahashi E, Mahony S, Rinn JL, Gifford DK, Arlotta P. Gene co-regulation by Fezf2 selects neurotransmitter identity and connectivity of corticospinal neurons. Nat Neurosci. 2014 Aug; 17(8):1046-54. View abstract
  31. Song JW, Mitchell PD, Kolasinski J, Ellen Grant P, Galaburda AM, Takahashi E. Asymmetry of White Matter Pathways in Developing Human Brains. Cereb Cortex. 2015 Sep; 25(9):2883-93. View abstract
  32. Takahashi E, Hayashi E, Schmahmann JD, Grant PE. Development of cerebellar connectivity in human fetal brains revealed by high angular resolution diffusion tractography. Neuroimage. 2014 Aug 01; 96:326-33. View abstract
  33. Edlow BL, Haynes RL, Takahashi E, Klein JP, Cummings P, Benner T, Greer DM, Greenberg SM, Wu O, Kinney HC, Folkerth RD. Disconnection of the ascending arousal system in traumatic coma. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2013 Jun; 72(6):505-23. View abstract
  34. Kolasinski J, Takahashi E, Stevens AA, Benner T, Fischl B, Zöllei L, Grant PE. Radial and tangential neuronal migration pathways in the human fetal brain: anatomically distinct patterns of diffusion MRI coherence. Neuroimage. 2013 Oct 01; 79:412-22. View abstract
  35. Takahashi E, Song JW, Folkerth RD, Grant PE, Schmahmann JD. Detection of postmortem human cerebellar cortex and white matter pathways using high angular resolution diffusion tractography: a feasibility study. Neuroimage. 2013 Mar; 68:105-11. View abstract
  36. Xu G, Takahashi E, Folkerth RD, Haynes RL, Volpe JJ, Grant PE, Kinney HC. Radial coherence of diffusion tractography in the cerebral white matter of the human fetus: neuroanatomic insights. Cereb Cortex. 2014 Mar; 24(3):579-92. View abstract
  37. Takahashi E, Ohki K, Kim DS. Dissociation and convergence of the dorsal and ventral visual working memory streams in the human prefrontal cortex. Neuroimage. 2013 Jan 15; 65:488-98. View abstract
  38. Edlow BL, Takahashi E, Wu O, Benner T, Dai G, Bu L, Grant PE, Greer DM, Greenberg SM, Kinney HC, Folkerth RD. Neuroanatomic connectivity of the human ascending arousal system critical to consciousness and its disorders. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2012 Jun; 71(6):531-46. View abstract
  39. Rosen GD, Azoulay NG, Griffin EG, Newbury A, Koganti L, Fujisaki N, Takahashi E, Grant PE, Truong DT, Fitch RH, Lu L, Williams RW. Bilateral subcortical heterotopia with partial callosal agenesis in a mouse mutant. Cereb Cortex. 2013 Apr; 23(4):859-72. View abstract
  40. Takahashi E, Ohshima K, Kimura H, Hara K, Suzuki R, Kawa K, Eimoto T, Nakamura S. Clinicopathological analysis of the age-related differences in patients with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated extranasal natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma with reference to the relationship with aggressive NK cell leukaemia and chronic active EBV infection-associated lymphoproliferative disorders. Histopathology. 2011 Oct; 59(4):660-71. View abstract
  41. Takahashi E, Folkerth RD, Galaburda AM, Grant PE. Emerging cerebral connectivity in the human fetal brain: an MR tractography study. Cereb Cortex. 2012 Feb; 22(2):455-64. View abstract
  42. Takahashi E, Dai G, Rosen GD, Wang R, Ohki K, Folkerth RD, Galaburda AM, Wedeen VJ, Ellen Grant P. Developing neocortex organization and connectivity in cats revealed by direct correlation of diffusion tractography and histology. Cereb Cortex. 2011 Jan; 21(1):200-11. View abstract
  43. Takahashi E, Dai G, Wang R, Ohki K, Rosen GD, Galaburda AM, Grant PE, Wedeen VJ. Development of cerebral fiber pathways in cats revealed by diffusion spectrum imaging. Neuroimage. 2010 Jan 15; 49(2):1231-40. View abstract
  44. Takahashi E, Ohki K, Kim DS. Dissociated pathways for successful memory retrieval from the human parietal cortex: anatomical and functional connectivity analyses. Cereb Cortex. 2008 Aug; 18(8):1771-8. View abstract
  45. Takahashi E, Ohki K, Kim DS. Diffusion tensor studies dissociated two fronto-temporal pathways in the human memory system. Neuroimage. 2007 Jan 15; 34(2):827-38. View abstract
  46. Saito R, Yokota H, Takahashi E, Mashige F, Yoneyama A, Nakahara K, Okamura N. Performance of an automated system for quantitation of hepatitis C virus core antigen. J Virol Methods. 2003 Sep; 112(1-2):93-7. View abstract
  47. Takahashi E, Ohki K, Miyashita Y. The role of the parahippocampal gyrus in source memory for external and internal events. Neuroreport. 2002 Oct 28; 13(15):1951-6. View abstract
  48. Konishi S, Hayashi T, Uchida I, Kikyo H, Takahashi E, Miyashita Y. Hemispheric asymmetry in human lateral prefrontal cortex during cognitive set shifting. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 May 28; 99(11):7803-8. View abstract