Centre for Behaviour and Evolution

Staff Profile

Dr Yuki Kikuchi

Lecturer in Sensory, Perceptual and Cognitive Neuroscience


I'm a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the Faculty of Medical Sciences and a principal investigator of the Laboratory of Cognitive and Translational Neuroscience at Newcastle University. I obtained my PhD in behavioural neuroscience in Japan and took a post-doc training under the mentorship of Dr Mortimer Mishkin at the Laboratory of Neuropsychology, NIMH/NIH in the USA.

I have +25 years of experience in primate work across four countries (USA, UK, Germany, Japan) and uses a variety of neuroscience approaches combined with electrophysiology, fMRI, optogenetics, neuroanatomy, genomics and computational modelling to understand the neural circuits of auditory cognition, aiming to advance treatment and intervention options for social cognition disorders. 

I am a British-Asian scientist from a minority ethnic background and am also a strong advocate for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). I actively contribute to outreach events towards greater equality and bringing new possibilities and potentials among typically under-represented people.

Google Scholar

Research Gate


  • Recruiting several PhD/RA positions at Newcastle University Medical School (Vacancies)



  • Neurobiology of auditory cognition, prediction and memory
  • Primate neuroscience of direct relevance for neurosurgery and patient work
  • A primate model of social cognition disorders such as autism and anxiety


  • 2024-2025 Principal Investigator on EPSRC/MRC-funded CloseNIT grant. “Closed-loop Auditory Stimulation to Modulate Amygdala-Frontal Synchrony in Free-Moving Marmosets" (Co-Is: Prof Jackson, Newcastle, UK; Prof Constandinou, Imperial College London, UK) 
  • 2023-2026 Principal Investigator on MRC Programme grant. “Neuronal circuits for perceptual inference” (Multiple-PIs with Prof Petkov and Prof Griffith) 
  • 2017-2023    Collaborator on ERC Consolidator Grant 
  • 2015-2021    Collaborator on Wellcome Trust Enhancement Grant
  • 2011-2015   Principal Investigator on National Institute of Mental Health/NIH Professional Service Contract. “Neuroimaging and neurophysiology of auditory and visual sequence learning in humans and monkeys”
  • 2007-2011 Principal Investigator on National Institute of Mental Health/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication, NIH Professional Service Contract. “Neural processing of complex sounds”
  • 2002-2004  Principal Investigator on JSPS Overseas Fellowship. “Higher auditory cognitive functions revealed by electrophysiological recordings and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in primates”
  • 1999-2002   JSPS PhD fellowship (incl. research grant). “Neural mechanisms of domain-specific and domain-general working memory systems”



  • 2019-2020 Guest Researcher. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institute of Health (NIH), USA
  • 2007-2011 Georgetown University, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, USA
  • 2007 Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Germany
  • 2002-2011 National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institute of Health (NIH), USA



  • BNS 3013 Disorders of the Nervous System
  • PSC 3008 Physiology of the Nervous System

2018 Associate Fellow of the Graduate School, FMS, Newcastle University

Postgraduate and undergraduate project students (>30)

PhD. Supervisor (Biosciences, FMS)

Selected media:

Selected outreach events and lectures:

  • 2024 Holmes Memorial Lecture: Lecture 1: Humans: Can you learn to train your brain? (17 January, 2024)
  • Scent & Science Festival 2023 (1 July, 2023, Featherstone Castle at Haltwhistle, UK, FMS Research Excellence FMS Research Excellence Development Awards (REDA) funded public engagement event)
  • "Gene, Brain and Behaviour: Power of Prediction and Autism Spectrum Disorders" Enrichment Seminars in Psychology, Newcastle University (March 2021)
  • BBC Radio 3: Music Matters: Music in the Time of Our Lives (17-18 March, 2017)
  • Meet the Neuroscientist: Great Exhibition of the North (Great North Museum, 24 August, 2018)
  • Brain Awareness Week: Palace of Science (Wylam Brewery, 12 March, 2019)
  • European Researchers Night: Supported by the European Commission as a part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, funded under the Horizon 2020 programme (Great North Museum, 28 September, 2018)
  • "Rhythmic Brain. How rhythms can help our perception and learning?": Joseph Cowen Lifelong Learning Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. (June 2017)
  • "Music, Language, Syntax? Sequence Learning and Neurological Disorders": Joseph Cowen Lifelong Learning Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. (Dec 2016)
  • "Rhythms of your brain. Keys to train your brain through sounds": Joseph Cowen Lifelong Learning Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. (January 2016)
  • "Is Music Just for Us? Searching for the origins of musicality through neural symphony": Joseph Cowen Lifelong Learning Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. (May - June 2016)
  • "Interaction between cortical responses and natural sounds in the primate auditory system using MRI-guided electrophysiology'': Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Magdeburg, Germany (June 2013)
  • "Human Brain Function and Behaviour": Kyoto University, Graduate School of Engineering, Japan. Neuroscience, Mental Health (Summer course, 2013)