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David BilkeyEmail
Tel +64 3 479 7633

Professor David Bilkey's general research area is systems neuroscience, with a particular focus on the role of the temporal cortex regions of the brain in memory and learning processes. This work involves using a combination of electrophysiological and behavioral procedures to determine how these temporal area structures function and interact with regions such as the prefrontal cortex.

His research group investigates how the function of the hippocampus and related regions is altered in schizophrenia using an animal model of the disorder. His research has been funded by the Health Research Council and Marsden Fund. He is an author on over 120 articles published in high-impact international journals. He is a past recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship and has served on several major funding panels. He is the current chair of the Marsden Fund Council.

David received a PhD from the University of Otago in 1987. After working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington in 1988 he returned to Otago as a lecturer, and served as the Head of Department from 2009 to 2013.


Research interests

  • Systems neuroscience
  • The role of the temporal cortex regions of the brain in memory and learning processes
  • How the function of the hippocampus is altered in schizophrenia


Tashakori-Sabzevar, F., Munn, R. G. K., Bilkey, D. K., & Ward, R. D. (2024). Basal forebrain and prelimbic cortex connectivity is related to behavioral response in an attention task. iScience, 27, 109266. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2024.109266 Journal - Research Article

Scott, K. J., Speers, L. J., & Bilkey, D. K. (2024). Utilizing synthetic training data for the supervised classification of rat ultrasonic vocalizations. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 155(1), 306-314. doi: 10.1121/10.0024340 Journal - Research Article

Munn, R. G. K., Heller, C., Wolff, A. R., & Bilkey, D. K. (2023). Hippocampal dysfunction: It's all about timing! Insights from two model systems. In K.-L. Horne (Ed.), Proceedings of the 39th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research (AWCBR). (pp. 28). Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Seo, S., Parr-Brownlie, L., Bilkey, D., Hughes, S., & Oorschot, D. (2023, June). Opposite changes in midbrain dopamine microcircuitry in the repeated hypoxic rat model of ADHD-like hyperactivity/impulsivity versus the maternal immune activation rat model of schizophrenia: Potential bases for new therapies. Poster session presented at the International Basal Ganglia Society (IBAGS) XIV Meeting, Stockholm, Sweden. Conference Contribution - Poster Presentation (not in published proceedings)

Speers, L. J., Chin, P., & Bilkey, D. K. (2023). No evidence that acute clozapine administration alters CA1 phase precession in rats. Brain Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2023.148446 Journal - Research Article

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