Investigating vestibulosympathetic reflexes in humans

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Number of Master Places Available
1
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Vaughan Macefield vaughan.macefield@baker.edu.au
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Tye Dawood

Summary While several methods to activate the human vestibular apparatus have been used, galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) is a means of selectively modulating vestibular afferent activity via electrodes over the mastoid processes, causing robust vestibular illusions of side-to-side movement. Sinusoidal GVS (sGVS) causes partial entrainment of sympathetic outflow to muscle and skin

Project Details

While several methods to activate the human vestibular apparatus have been used, galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) is a means of selectively modulating vestibular afferent activity via electrodes over the mastoid processes, causing robust vestibular illusions of side-to-side movement. Sinusoidal GVS (sGVS) causes partial entrainment of sympathetic outflow to muscle and skin. Modulation of muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) and skin sympathetic nerve activity (SSNA) from vestibular inputs competes with baroreceptor inputs, with stronger temporal coupling to the vestibular stimulus being observed at frequencies remote from the cardiac frequency. Moreover, the vestibular modulation of SSNA, but not MSNA, is augmented in individuals experiencing nausea. In this project we will extend our work on investigating vestibulosympathetic reflexes in humans, exploring how the frequency and pattern of stimulation modulates sympathetic outflow to muscle and skin. MSNA and SSNA can be recorded directly via metal microelectrodes inserted percutaneously into a peripheral nerve in awake humans (microneurography), and the student will acquire the skills for recording and analysing MSNA and SSNA, which can then be applied to a more detailed PhD project.



Research Opportunities

PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


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