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Contact Details

64 3 479 5781
Professor / Director of Health Sciences First Year Programme
Department of Anatomy
MB ChB PhD(Otago)
Research summary
Learning and memory mechanisms, Parkinson's disease, stroke
Medicine III - Nervous System Anatomy
  • Directorate of Brain Research NZ Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE)
  • Ageing Well National Science Challenge
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Neuromodulation as used for tinnitus, stroke recovery, and impulse disorders


John Reynolds’ research focuses on understanding the effect of natural patterns of brain cell activity on the normal and disordered brain. His training in medicine and interest in rehabilitation from brain disorders has led to curiosity-driven research investigating the changes that occur in normal brain circuitry after Parkinson’s disease and stroke. Towards a better treatment for these disorders, a recent focus for his research group has been on how patterns of neural activity can best be applied to restore normal learning and movement functions of the brain. He is also a passionate teacher, having gained national recognition in both teaching and research, including an Ako Aotearoa tertiary teaching award and an inaugural Rutherford Discovery Fellowship for his research programme.


Zhang, Y.-F., & Reynolds, J. N. J. (2024). The integration of top-down and bottom-up inputs to the striatal cholinergic interneurons. Current Neuropharmacology, 22(9), 1566-1575. doi: 10.2174/1570159x22666231115151403 Journal - Research Article

Reynolds, J. N. J., Avvisati, R., Dodson, P. D., Fisher, S. D., Oswald, M. J., Wickens, J. R., & Zhang, Y.-F. (2022). Coincidence of cholinergic pauses, dopaminergic activation and depolarisation of spiny projection neurons drives synaptic plasticity in the striatum. Nature Communications, 13, 1296. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-28950-0 Journal - Research Article

Zhang, Y.-F., Reynolds, J. N. J., & Cragg, S. J. (2018). Pauses in cholinergic interneuron activity are driven by excitatory input and delayed rectification, with dopamine modulation. Neuron, 98(5), 918-925. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.04.027 Journal - Research Article

Fisher, S. D., Robertson, P. B., Black, M. J., Redgrave, P., Sagar, M. A., Abraham, W. C., & Reynolds, J. N. J. (2017). Reinforcement determines the timing dependence of corticostriatal synaptic plasticity in vivo. Nature Communications, 8, 334. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00394-x Journal - Research Article

Reynolds, J. N. J., Hyland, B. I., & Wickens, J. (2001). A cellular mechanism of reward-related learning. Nature, 413, 67-70. Journal - Research Article

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