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Emi Takahashi, PhD

Emi Takahashi Oki PhD
Takahashi Laboratory
Research Center:
Fetal-Neonatal Neuroimaging and Developmental Science Center
Medicine Research
Newborn Medicine Research
Hospital Title:
Associate Scientific Researcher
Academic Title:
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Research Focus Area:
Developmental Brain ImagingBrain ConnectivityBrain Evolution
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Research Overview

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.

About Emi Takahashi

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. 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.
  2. 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 Dec; 38(12):5931-5942.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Levman J, Takahashi E. Pre-Adult MRI of Brain Cancer and Neurological Injury: Multivariate Analyses. Front Pediatr. 2016; 4:65.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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  12. 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 Jul; 6(7):e00483.
  13. 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.
  14. Levman J, Takahashi E. Multivariate Analyses Applied to Healthy Neurodevelopment in Fetal, Neonatal, and Pediatric MRI. Front Neuroanat. 2015; 9:163.
  15. 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.
  16. Levman J, Takahashi E. Multivariate analyses applied to fetal, neonatal and pediatric MRI of neurodevelopmental disorders. Neuroimage Clin. 2015; 9:532-44.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
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