Takao Hensch is a neurobiologist whose research focuses on critical periods in brain development.
By applying cellular and molecular biology techniques to neural systems, his lab identified pivotal inhibitory circuits that orchestrate structural and functional rewiring of connections in response to early sensory experience.
More recently, Hensch has focused on molecular ‘brakes,’ which actively limit plasticity in the adult brain. His work impacts not only basic understanding of brain development, but also therapeutic approaches to devastating cognitive disorders, recovery from brain injury later in life and, potentially, education policy.
- Director, NIMH Silvio Conte Center, 2018
- Director, WPI International Research Center for Neurointelligence, 2017
- Sackler Prize for Developmental Psychobiology, 2016
- NIH Director's Pioneer Award, 2007
- U.S. Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award, 2005
- Young Investigator Award-Tsukahara Prize, 2001
- Takesian, A. E., Bogart, L. J., Lichtman, J. W., & Hensch, T. K. (2018). Inhibitory circuit gating of auditory critical-period plasticity. Nature neuroscience, 21(2), 218-227.
- Werker, J. F., & Hensch, T. K. (2015). Critical periods in speech perception: new directions. Annual review of psychology, 66, 173-196.
- Hensch, T. K., & Fagiolini, M. (Eds.). (2004). Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance: Synapses, Circuits, and Systems. Springer Science & Business Media.
- Hensch, T. K. (2004). Critical period regulation. Annu. Rev. Neurosci., 27, 549-579.
CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.