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Previous lab personnel

  • Postdoctoral Fellow: Dr Emma Coddington, now Ass. Prof., Oregon USA.
  • Research Assistant: Liam Farley, now globetrotting;
  • Research Students: Cristina Shirley, (PhD, 2009) now post-doc; Charlotte Butler Munro, (BBiomedSci(Hons) (2006), now PhD student; Malinda Tantirigama (BSc(Hons), 2008), now PhD student with Dr Ruth Empson.

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Research interests

The sense of smell

Our ability to sense airborne chemicals is based on patterns of neuronal activity in the brain. We use electrophysiological recording from brain slices maintained in vitro to study how these patterns of activity are processed by individual neurons and circuits in the brain.

Neurological disorders

Bipolar disorder, depression and epilepsy seem like very different problems, but they each result from abnormal levels of brain neuron activity. To understand these diseases better and develop better treatments we need to know more about how the current treatments work. We therefore focus our studies on how current treatments act on neurons to control their activity as individuals, and as members of brain circuits.

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Current funding

  • 2005–2010 Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund: Timing and the sense of smell: how does the brain use time to identify an odour?

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Previous funding

  • 2004 Otago Medical Research Foundation: ffects of Lithium on neuronal metabotropic responses to glutamate in mouse brain slices.

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Selected publications

Benzler, M., Benzler, J., Stoehr, S., Hempp, C., Rizwan, M. Z., Heyward, P., & Tups, A. (2019). "Insulin-like" effects of palmitate compromise insulin signalling in hypothalamic neurons. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 189(3-4), 413-424. doi: 10.1007/s00360-019-01220-0

Heyward, P. M., Williams, M. R., & Hall, M. J. (2018). Activity-dependent actions of Li+ in brain network connectivity. In K. Hillman (Ed.), Proceedings of the 36th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 69). AWCBR. Retrieved from https://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr

Deeney, E. A., Power, E. M., Heyward, P. M., & Empson, R. M. (2017). Does voluntary exercise improve motor performance and/or cerebellar architecture in SCA1 moderately ataxic mice. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 35th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 50). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/index.html

Kanthakumar, P., Hyland, B., & Heyward, P. (2017). Lithium may block the delay current (ID) in olfactory projection neurons. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 35th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 38). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/index.html

Hall, M. J., Williams, M. R., & Heyward, P. M. (2017). Lithim promotes stereotyped responses to synaptic input: An in vitro olfactory bulb study. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 35th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 68). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/index.html

Heyward, P. M., Williams, M. R., Hall, M. J., & Kanthakumar, P. (2017). Lithium may enhance brain network coherence by acting on K+ channels. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 35th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 35, (pp. 28). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/index.html

Farley, L. T. A., & Heyward, P. M. (2014). Nitric oxide regulates spontaneous, electrically stimulated, and seizure-like activities in the mouse olfactory bulb in vitro. In B. Leitch & J. Shemmell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 32, (pp. 65). AWCBR. Retrieved from https://web.psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/proceedings.html

Igelström, K. M., & Heyward, P. M. (2012). The antidepressant drug fluoxetine inhibits persistent sodium currents and seizure-like events. Epilepsy Research, 101(1-2), 174-181. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2012.03.019

Igelström, K. M., & Heyward, P. M. (2012). Inhibition of hippocampal excitability by citalopram. Epilepsia, 53(11), 2034-2042. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2012.03660.x

Farley, L. T. A., & Heyward, P. M. (2012). Nitric oxide in the olfactory bulb in vitro. In B. Leitch & J. Shemmell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 30th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 30, (pp. 47). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/Abstracts/Abstracts2012.html

Igelström, K. M., Shirley, C. H., & Heyward, P. M. (2011). Low-magnesium medium induces epileptiform activity in mouse olfactory bulb slices. Journal of Neurophysiology, 106(5), 2593-2605. doi: 10.1152/jn.00601.2011

Igelstrom, K. M., & Heyward, P. M. (2011). Anticonvulsant effects and sodium channel inhibition by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 29th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 29, 8.3. AWCBR. Retrieved from http://psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/abstracts/abstracts2011.html

Shirley, C. H., Coddington, E. J., & Heyward, P. M. (2010). All-or-none population bursts temporally constrain surround inhibition between mouse olfactory glomeruli. Brain Research Bulletin, 81(4-5), 406-415. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2009.10.022

Butler-Munro, C., Coddington, E. J., Shirley, C. H., & Heyward, P. M. (2010). Lithium modulates cortical excitability in vitro. Brain Research, 1352, 50-60. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.07.021

Heyward, P. M. (2010). A brain slice bath for physiology and compound microscopy, with dual-sided perifusion. Journal of Microscopy, 240(3), 207-215. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2818.2010.03382.x

Igelstrom, K., & Heyward, P. (2010, September). Epileptiform activity in an olfactory brain circuit. Poster session presented at the Fourth Annual Division of Health Sciences Research Forum, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Heyward, P. (2009). Olfactory bulb output neuron activity in brain slices: Physiology or pathophysiology? Proceedings of the ComBio2009 Conference. [CD-ROM] [Abstract]

Coddington, E. J., Shirley, C., Butler-Munro, C., & Heyward, P. M. (2009). Persistent sodium current (INaP) regulates excitability and synaptic integration in mitral cells. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience 39th Annual Meeting. SfN. Retrieved from http://www.abstractsonline.com/plan/AdvancedSearch.aspx

Butler-Munro, C., Heyward, P. M., Shirley, C. H., & Coddington, E. (2009). Lithium blocks a transient outward current in output neurons of the olfactory bulb of the brain. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience 39th Annual Meeting. SfN. Retrieved from http://www.abstractsonline.com/plan/AdvancedSearch.aspx

Heinbockel, T., & Heyward, P. M. (2008). Glutamate synapses in olfactory neural circuits. In B. F. Paley & T. E. Warfield (Eds.), Amino acid receptor research. (pp. 391-425). New York: Nova Science.

Butler-Munro, C., & Heyward, P. (2008). Lithium treatment in vitro has direct and adaptive effects on neuronal excitability. In J. G. Anson (Ed.), Proceedings of the 26th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 26, (pp. 33). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/Abstracts/2008Abstracts.pdf

Igelstrom, K., & Heyward, P. (2008). Inhibitory action of taurine at GABAA and glycine receptors in the main olfactory bulb of the brain. New Zealand Medical Journal, 121(1274). Retrieved from http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/121-1274/3078/content.pdf

Tantirigama, M., & Heyward, P. (2008). Excitation by GABA in the mouse olfactory bulb is not mediated by a bicarbonate efflux. New Zealand Medical Journal, 121(1274). Retrieved from http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/121-1274/3078/content.pdf

Shirley, C. H., & Heyward, P. M. (2008). Centre-surround processing in the olfactory bulb is temporal, and intrinsic to the level of sensory input. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience 38th Annual Meeting. SfN. Retrieved from http://www.abstractsonline.com/plan/AdvancedSearch.aspx

Coddington, E., & Heyward, P. (2008). Synaptic integration in mitral cells is regulated by a persistent sodium current (INAP-INaP). In J. G. Anson (Ed.), Proceedings of the 26th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 26, (pp. 31). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/Abstracts/2008Abstracts.pdf

Chapter in Book - Research

Heinbockel, T., & Heyward, P. M. (2008). Glutamate synapses in olfactory neural circuits. In B. F. Paley & T. E. Warfield (Eds.), Amino acid receptor research. (pp. 391-425). New York: Nova Science.

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Journal - Research Article

Benzler, M., Benzler, J., Stoehr, S., Hempp, C., Rizwan, M. Z., Heyward, P., & Tups, A. (2019). "Insulin-like" effects of palmitate compromise insulin signalling in hypothalamic neurons. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 189(3-4), 413-424. doi: 10.1007/s00360-019-01220-0

Igelström, K. M., & Heyward, P. M. (2012). The antidepressant drug fluoxetine inhibits persistent sodium currents and seizure-like events. Epilepsy Research, 101(1-2), 174-181. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2012.03.019

Igelström, K. M., & Heyward, P. M. (2012). Inhibition of hippocampal excitability by citalopram. Epilepsia, 53(11), 2034-2042. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2012.03660.x

Igelström, K. M., Shirley, C. H., & Heyward, P. M. (2011). Low-magnesium medium induces epileptiform activity in mouse olfactory bulb slices. Journal of Neurophysiology, 106(5), 2593-2605. doi: 10.1152/jn.00601.2011

Shirley, C. H., Coddington, E. J., & Heyward, P. M. (2010). All-or-none population bursts temporally constrain surround inhibition between mouse olfactory glomeruli. Brain Research Bulletin, 81(4-5), 406-415. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2009.10.022

Heyward, P. M. (2010). A brain slice bath for physiology and compound microscopy, with dual-sided perifusion. Journal of Microscopy, 240(3), 207-215. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2818.2010.03382.x

Butler-Munro, C., Coddington, E. J., Shirley, C. H., & Heyward, P. M. (2010). Lithium modulates cortical excitability in vitro. Brain Research, 1352, 50-60. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.07.021

Wachowiak, M., McGann, J. P., Heyward, P. M., Shao, Z., Puche, A. C., & Shipley, M. T. (2005). Inhibition of olfactory receptor neuron input to olfactory bulb glomeruli mediated by suppression of presynaptic calcium influx. Journal of Neurophysiology, 94, 2700-2712.

Heinbockel, T., Heyward, P., Conquet, F., & Ennis, M. (2004). Regulation of main olfactory bulb mitral cell excitability by metabotropic glutamate receptor mGluR1. Journal of Neurophysiology, 92, 3085-3096.

Puche, A. C., Heyward, P., & Shipley, M. T. (2004). Transmembrane dye labeling and immunohistochemical staining of electrophysiologically characterized single neurons. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 137(2), 235-240.

Aungst, J. L., Heyward, P. M., Puche, A. C., Karnup, S. V., Hayar, A., Szabo, G., & Shipley, M. (2003). Centre-surround inhibition among olfactory bulb glomeruli. Nature, 426, 623-629.

Heyward, P. M., & Shipley, M. (2003). A device for automated control of pipette internal pressure for patch-clamp recording. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 123, 109-115.

Heyward, P., Ennis, M., Keller, A., & Shipley, M. T. (2001). Membrane bistability in olfactory bulb mitral cells. Journal of Neuroscience, 21(14), 5311-5320.

Hayar, A., Heyward, P. M., Heinbockel, T., Shipley, M. T., & Ennis, M. (2001). Direct excitation of mitral cells via activation of α1-noradrenergic receptors in rat olfactory bulb slices. Journal of Neurophysiology, 86, 2173-2182.

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Heyward, P. M., Williams, M. R., & Hall, M. J. (2018). Activity-dependent actions of Li+ in brain network connectivity. In K. Hillman (Ed.), Proceedings of the 36th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 69). AWCBR. Retrieved from https://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr

Deeney, E. A., Power, E. M., Heyward, P. M., & Empson, R. M. (2017). Does voluntary exercise improve motor performance and/or cerebellar architecture in SCA1 moderately ataxic mice. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 35th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 50). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/index.html

Heyward, P. M., Williams, M. R., Hall, M. J., & Kanthakumar, P. (2017). Lithium may enhance brain network coherence by acting on K+ channels. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 35th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 35, (pp. 28). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/index.html

Hall, M. J., Williams, M. R., & Heyward, P. M. (2017). Lithim promotes stereotyped responses to synaptic input: An in vitro olfactory bulb study. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 35th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 68). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/index.html

Kanthakumar, P., Hyland, B., & Heyward, P. (2017). Lithium may block the delay current (ID) in olfactory projection neurons. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 35th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 38). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/index.html

Farley, L. T. A., & Heyward, P. M. (2014). Nitric oxide regulates spontaneous, electrically stimulated, and seizure-like activities in the mouse olfactory bulb in vitro. In B. Leitch & J. Shemmell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 32, (pp. 65). AWCBR. Retrieved from https://web.psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/proceedings.html

Farley, L. T. A., & Heyward, P. M. (2012). Nitric oxide in the olfactory bulb in vitro. In B. Leitch & J. Shemmell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 30th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 30, (pp. 47). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/Abstracts/Abstracts2012.html

Igelstrom, K. M., & Heyward, P. M. (2011). Anticonvulsant effects and sodium channel inhibition by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 29th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 29, 8.3. AWCBR. Retrieved from http://psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/abstracts/abstracts2011.html

Heyward, P. (2009). Olfactory bulb output neuron activity in brain slices: Physiology or pathophysiology? Proceedings of the ComBio2009 Conference. [CD-ROM] [Abstract]

Butler-Munro, C., Heyward, P. M., Shirley, C. H., & Coddington, E. (2009). Lithium blocks a transient outward current in output neurons of the olfactory bulb of the brain. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience 39th Annual Meeting. SfN. Retrieved from http://www.abstractsonline.com/plan/AdvancedSearch.aspx

Coddington, E. J., Shirley, C., Butler-Munro, C., & Heyward, P. M. (2009). Persistent sodium current (INaP) regulates excitability and synaptic integration in mitral cells. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience 39th Annual Meeting. SfN. Retrieved from http://www.abstractsonline.com/plan/AdvancedSearch.aspx

Butler-Munro, C., & Heyward, P. (2008). Lithium treatment in vitro has direct and adaptive effects on neuronal excitability. In J. G. Anson (Ed.), Proceedings of the 26th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 26, (pp. 33). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/Abstracts/2008Abstracts.pdf

Coddington, E., & Heyward, P. (2008). Synaptic integration in mitral cells is regulated by a persistent sodium current (INAP-INaP). In J. G. Anson (Ed.), Proceedings of the 26th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 26, (pp. 31). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/Abstracts/2008Abstracts.pdf

Shirley, C. H., & Heyward, P. M. (2008). Centre-surround processing in the olfactory bulb is temporal, and intrinsic to the level of sensory input. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience 38th Annual Meeting. SfN. Retrieved from http://www.abstractsonline.com/plan/AdvancedSearch.aspx

Tantirigama, M., & Heyward, P. (2008). Excitation by GABA in the mouse olfactory bulb is not mediated by a bicarbonate efflux. New Zealand Medical Journal, 121(1274). Retrieved from http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/121-1274/3078/content.pdf

Igelstrom, K., & Heyward, P. (2008). Inhibitory action of taurine at GABAA and glycine receptors in the main olfactory bulb of the brain. New Zealand Medical Journal, 121(1274). Retrieved from http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/121-1274/3078/content.pdf

Puche, A. C., Aungst, J. L., Heyward, P. M., Erdelyi, F., Szabo, G., Karnup, S. V., & Shipley, M. T. (2003). Neural basis for interglomerular circuits in the main olfactory bulb. Proceedings of the 25th Annual Meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences. [Abstract]

Aungst, J. L., Heyward, P. M., & Shipley, M. T. (2003). Evidence for dendritic localization of IH in granule cells of mouse main olfactory bulb. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Meeting of Society for Neuroscience. [Abstract]

Aungst, J. L., Heyward, P. M., Hayar, A. M., & Shipley, M. T. (2003). IH modulation of granule cell function in the mouse main olfactory bulb. Proceedings of the 25th Annual Meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences. [Abstract]

Heyward, P. M., Izhikevich, E. M., & Shipley, M. T. (2002). Modeling bistability and resonance in the membrane dynamics of mitral cells. Chemical Senses. 27, (pp. A64). [Abstract]

Puche, A. C., Heyward, P. M., & Shipley, M. T. (2002). Ultra-long-lasting depolarizations in response to olfactory nerve input in developing mitral cells. Chemical Senses. 27, (pp. A63). [Abstract]

Wachowiak, M., Heyward, P. M., Puche, A. C., & Shipley, M. T. (2002). Regulation of receptor neuron input to the mouse olfactory bulb mediated by suppression of presynaptic calcium influx. Chemical Senses. 27, (pp. A89). [Abstract]

Wachowiak, M., Heyward, P., Puche, A., & Shipley, M. T. (2002). Regulation of receptor neuron input to the mouse olfactory bulb mediated by suppression of presynaptic calcium influx. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience 32nd Annual Meeting. Washington, DC: SfN. [Abstract]

Heinbockel, T., Hayar, A., Heyward, P. M., Shipley, M. T., & Ennis, M. (2001). Neural activity is modulated by metabotropic glutamate receptors in rat olfactory bulb slices. Chemical Senses. 26, (pp. 1065). [Abstract]

Heinbockel, T., Hayar, A., Heyward, P., Shipley, M., & Ennis, M. (2001). Modulation of neural signaling by metabotropic glutamate receptros in rat olfactory bulb slices. In N. Elsner & G. W. Kreutzberg (Eds.), Göttingen Neurobiology Report. 2, (pp. 450). [Abstract]

Heyward, P., Puche, A., & Shipley, M. (2001). Electrophysiology of main olfactory bulb mitral cells during postnatal development: Ultra-long-lasting depolarizations in response to olfactory nerve input. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience's 31st Annual Meeting. Washington, DC: SfN. [Abstract]

Heyward, P. M., Ennis, M., & Shipley, M. T. (2000). A persistent sodium current generates up-state plateau potentials and active subthreshold responses to olfactory nerve input in mitral cells of the main olfactory bulb. Chemical Senses. 25, (pp. 642). [Abstract]

Heyward, P. M., & Shipley, M. T. (2000). Mitral cell intrinsic membrane properties amplify responses to olfactory nerve synaptic input. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience's 30th Annual Meeting. Washington, DC: SfN. [Abstract]

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Conference Contribution - Poster Presentation (not in published proceedings)

Igelstrom, K., & Heyward, P. (2010, September). Epileptiform activity in an olfactory brain circuit. Poster session presented at the Fourth Annual Division of Health Sciences Research Forum, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Shirley, C. H., & Heyward, P. M. (2005, December). Olfactory bulb circuitry in odour coding. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress, Queenstown, New Zealand.

Heyward, P. M., Puche, A. C., Aungst, J. L., & Shipley, M. T. (2004, December). Centre-surround inhibition at the first stage of olfactory processing. Poster session presented at the Medical Sciences Congress, Queenstown, New Zealand.

Heyward, P., & Izhikevich, E. M. (2002, March). Bistability and resonance in dynamics of mitral neurons in olfactory bulb. Poster session presented at the Life Sciences Conference, Boston, MA, USA.

Heinbockel, T., Hayar, A., Heyward, P. M., Shipley, M. T., & Ennis, M. (2001, February). Modulation of neural signaling by metabotropic glutamate receptros in rat olfactory bulb slices. Poster session presented at the Colloquia of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.

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Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Shirley, C. H., & Heyward, P. M. (2007, November). Centre-surround processing in olfactory bulb is temporal, and intrinsic to the level of sensory input. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress, Queenstown, New Zealand.

Butler-Munro, C., & Heyward, P. (2006, November-December). The electrophysiological effects of lithium on central neurons in vitro. Verbal presentation at the Medical Sciences Congress, Rotorua, New Zealand.

More publications...

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