Kentaro ARIKAWA Professor


Neuroethology, Sensory physiology

Neuroethology is the study of the neural mechanisms underlying animal behavior. The main question my group asks is: "How do animals see the world?" My personal interest is the color vision of insects, and I have studied its mechanisms, particularly in Papilio butterflies, using a variety of techniques. We have recently extended our research towards understanding the evolution of color vision by comparing the structural and molecular organization of the visual systems of many insects. Thanks to this background, our laboratory is well equipped for behavioral analysis, neurophysiology, anatomy at both light and electron microscopic levels, molecular biology, optophysiology, computer simulation, and so on. Highly motivated students will have the opportunity to combine several (or indeed all) of these techniques for their own studies.


Papers and publications

  1. Kawasaki M, Kinoshita M, Weckström M, Arikawa K (2015) Difference in dynamic properties of photoreceptors in a butterfly, Papilio xuthus: possible segregation of motion and color processing. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 201:1115-1123
  2. Stavenga DG, Matsushita A, Arikawa K (2015) Combined pigmentary and structural effects tune wing scale coloration to color vision in the swallowtail butterfly Papilio xuthus. Zoological Letters, 1:14
  3. Futahashi R, Kawahara-Miki R, Kinoshita M, Yoshitake K, Yajima S, Arikawa K, Fukatsu T (2015) Extraordinary diversity of visual opsin genes in dragonflies. Proceedings of National Academy of Science USA, 112,:E1247–E1256
  4. Ohashi K, Makino T, Arikawa K (2015) Floral color change in the eyes of pollinators: testing possible constraints and correlated evolution. Functional Ecology, 29:1144-1155
  5. Marshall J, Arikawa K (2014) Unconventional colour vision. Current Biology, 24: pR1150–R1154
  6. Dyer AG, Arikawa K (2014) A hundred years of color studies in insects: with thanks to Karl von Frisch and the workers he inspired. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 200:409-410.
  7. Arikawa K (2010) Seeing ultraviolet light – Color vision in insects. World from various senses – Exploring mechanisms of super-senses (Eguchi E, Arikawa K, eds). Gakkai Shuppann Center, 95-120 (in Japanese)
  8. Arikawa K (2009) Compound eyes. Visible and invisible lights: Interaction of animals with light (Terakita A, Arikawa K, eds). Kyoritsu Shuppan 57-77 (in Japanese)