Our human neurophysiology group uses invasive and non-invasive means to assess how the nervous system operates in health and disease. Much of our work involves recording from (or stimulating) individual nerve fibres via fine microelectrodes inserted percutaneously into the peripheral nerves of awake human subjects (microneurography). In addition, we record blood pressure and skin blood flow to assess autonomic changes following spinal cord injury, with particular reference to autonomic dysreflexia. Recently, brain imaging techniques (fMRI) have been used to assess the central processing of pain originating in different tissues, and to identify sites of autonomic control within the brain.
Vaughan Macefield completed his PhD under Dr Bruce Nail at UNSW in 1986 and then undertook his first postdoctoral period with Profs David Burke and Simon Gandevia at Prince Henry Hospital. In 1990, he received an NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship to further study microneurography with Prof Ake Vallbo, Prof Gunnar Wallin and Prof Roland Johansson in Sweden and then spent a year with Prof Bigland-Ritchie at Yale University. Vaughan has been at Neuroscience Research Australia - supported by an NHMRC RD Wright Fellow, NHMRC Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow - since 1994, before moving to UWS in 2006. Vaughan maintains an active laboratory at NeuRA.