The contribution of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to the control of blood pressure

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Master of Biomedical Science
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 The sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system plays a critical role in the control of blood pressure, both through its effects on the heart and, importantly, through the beat-to-beat control of blood flow through systemic blood vessels.

Project Details

The sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system plays a critical role in the control of blood pressure, both through its effects on the heart and, importantly, through the beat-to-beat control of blood flow through systemic blood vessels. Arterioles in the skeletal muscles are particularly important in this regard (the muscle vascular bed has a very high volume), and an increase in muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) is known to occur during psychological stress. MSNA can be recorded directly via metal microelectrodes inserted percutaneously into a peripheral nerve in awake humans (microneurography), and by recording MSNA at the same time as performing functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) of the brain we have shown that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) is involved in the regulation of MSNA. Here we shall use transcutaneous Direct Current Stimulation (tcDCS) and transcutaneous Alternating Current Stimulation (tcACS), delivered by surface electrodes applied to  forehead, to change the activity of the dlPFC, and thereby investigate how such changes in activity modulate MSNA and blood pressure. The student will acquire the skills for recording and analysing MSNA, skills which can then be applied to a more detailed PhD project.



Research Opportunities

PhD 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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