Yoshiro Shiba

Yoshiro Shiba

University position

Research Associate


Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience



Research Theme

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience


Anxiety and fear are adaptive responses against a potential/imminent threat. These consist of changes in physiological (heart rate, blood pressure, endocrine responses etc.), cognitive (attention, vigilance etc.) and behavioural (flight, freeze, fight etc.) responses. On top of them, humans have conscious awareness of the external and internal happenings, which is the feeling of anxiety/fear. However, when these responses become maladaptive or dysfunctional, they can lead to anxiety disorders.

Decades of research revealed that the brain structures responsible of production, expression and memory of anxiety/fear reside in the limbic circuits such as amygdala, hippocampus and BNST. These are homologous to the accelerator of a car, speeding up the brain for fight/flight responses. To regulate it, the brain needs a brake.

My research looks into the question: where this brake is and how it works. I investigate the role of prefrontal cortex in emotional regulation using a primate model.

Research Focus


Anxiety, Fear

Primate (Marmoset) model

PFC, OFC, Amygdala, Hippocampus, BNST

Physiology, Behaviour, Cognition, Emotion

Neural circuits

Clinical conditions

Affective disorder

Anxiety disorders

General anxiety disorder




Social anxiety disorder



Behavioural analysis

Brain lesion study


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

Randomised control trials



Johan Alsio

Tim Fryer

Angela Roberts

Andrea Santangelo

Stephen Sawiak

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Shiba Y, Santangelo AM, Braesicke K, Agustín-Pavón C, Cockcroft G, Haggard M, Roberts AC (2014), “Individual differences in behavioral and cardiovascular reactivity to emotive stimuli and their relationship to cognitive flexibility in a primate model of trait anxiety.” Front Behav Neurosci 8:137 Details



    Mikheenko Y, Shiba Y, Sawiak S, Braesicke K, Cockcroft G, Clarke H, Roberts AC (2014), “Serotonergic, Brain Volume and Attentional Correlates of Trait Anxiety in Primates.” Neuropsychopharmacology Details

    Shiba Y, Kim C, Santangelo AM, Roberts AC (2014), “Lesions of either anterior orbitofrontal cortex or ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in marmoset monkeys heighten innate fear and attenuate active coping behaviors to predator threat.” Front Syst Neurosci 8:250 Details


    Agustín-Pavón C, Braesicke K, Shiba Y, Santangelo AM, Mikheenko Y, Cockroft G, Asma F, Clarke H, Man MS, Roberts AC (2012), “Lesions of Ventrolateral Prefrontal or Anterior Orbitofrontal Cortex in Primates Heighten Negative Emotion.” Biol Psychiatry Details