Research Assistant Professor

Dr. Philip O'Herron Phone:  (706) 721-9103
 Fax:  (706) 721-7299
 Office: CA-2094
 Lab: CA-2064






Education and Training

Johns Hopkins University, Neuroscience, PhD, 2009

George Mason University, Chemistry, BA, 2002

Christendom College, Philosophy, BA, 2000


Academic Appointments

2018 - Research Assistant Professor, Augusta University

2017-2018 - Research Assistant Professor, Medical University of South Carolina


Research interests

My lab’s research focuses on questions of neurovascular coupling and visual processing.

Our neurovascular coupling works seeks to determine how neural activity in the cortex drives the hemodynamic responses (functional hyperemia) and, in turn, how neurons depend on the increased blood flow to active regions. 

We use two-photon microscopy to study the spatial relationship between regions of increased neural activity and increased blood flow. We want to understand the mechanisms of the propagation of arterial dilation and how this propagation affects the spatial overlap of neuronal and vascular activity.

Additionally we use two-photon optogenetics to artificially manipulate blood flow to understand how neural responses depend on the normal activity-evoked increase in blood flow to the region. Particularly, we wish to understand what aspects of neuronal health and information coding are altered if functional hyperemia is impaired. We also seek to understand how diseases of vascular impairment alter neuronal responses and health.

The lab also is interested in questions of the basic coding of visual stimulus information. Particularly, we are interested in how neurons in different lamina and even at different depths within layer 2/3 may be tuned for different stimulus attributes.


Awards and Honors

2012 - First prize Medical University of South Carolina research day for post-doctoral talks

2008 - John Hopkins University Neuroscience Department-  intradepartmental award for outstanding research poster at annual department retreat


(Go to Pub Med)

O’Herron P., Levy M., Woodward J. J. & Kara P. (2020) An Unexpected Dependence of Cortical Depth in Shaping Neural Responsiveness and Selectivity in Mouse Visual Cortex. eNeuro, ENEURO.0497-0419.2020 

O'Herron, P., Summers, P. M., Shih, A. Y., Kara, P. & Woodward, J. J. (2020) In Vivo Two-Photon Imaging of Neuronal and Brain Vascular Responses in Mice Chronically Exposed to Ethanol. Alcohol 85:41‐47

O'Herron P, Chhatbar PY, Levy M, Shen Z, Schramm AE, Lu Z, Kara P (2016) Neural correlates of single-vessel haemodynamic responses in vivo. Nature 534:378-382

O'Herron, P., and von der Heydt, R. (2013). Remapping of border ownership in the visual cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 33(5): 1964-1974
O’Herron P., Shen Z., Lu, Z., Schramm A., Levy M., & Kara P. (2012). Targeted Labeling of Neurons in a Specific Functional Micro-domain of the Neocortex by Combining Intrinsic Signal and Two-photon Imaging. Journal of Visualized Experiments (70): e50025
Shen, Z.M., Lu, Z.Y., Chhatbar, P.Y., O’Herron, P., Kara, P. (2012). An artery-specific fluorescent dye for studying neurovascular coupling in vivo. Nature Methods 9, 273-276.
O'Herron, P., and von der Heydt, R. (2011). Representation of object continuity in the visual cortex. Journal of Vision 11(2): 12.
O'Herron, P., and von der Heydt, R. (2009). Short-term memory for figure-ground organization in the visual cortex. Neuron 61, 801-809.
Zhang P, Borgnia MJ, Mooney P, Shi D, Pan M, O'Herron P., Mao A, Brogan D, Milne JL, Subramaniam S (2003) Automated image acquisition and processing using a new generation of 4K x 4K CCD cameras for cryo electron microscopic studies of macromolecular assemblies. J Struct Biol 143: 135-144.

Related Links

Dr. O'Herron's Faculty Profile

Link to Dr. O'Herron on PubMed


Kun Xie
Research Associate