Christine’s PhD project investigates the circuits within the brain that control our breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate on a level that is completely subconscious.
Specifically, she focus’ on a part of the brainstem called the superior colliculus (SC). The SC receives multisensory input and is able to trigger both behavioural (eye movement, head turning, freeze or flight) and autonomic outputs. Increased autonomic activity has been found to play a key role in the development of cardiovascular diseases. She has been working to map which brain regions in the brain the SC communicates with in order to better understand these circuits.