Welcome to the Cerebral Autoregulation Research Network (CARnet). We are a community of researchers working on cerebral autoregulation. Our members come from many different countries around the world and benefit from attending our annual conference and participating in joint projects that enable us to answer research questions together. We welcome you to join us if you are also working in this area - instructions can be found under the Join link at the top of the page.

Stephen Payne (CARNet Chair)



The brain, more than any other organ in the body, requires a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients, as well as the removal of waste products. In healthy humans, this blood flow should stay approximately constant when blood pressure varies, and adapt to changes in energy consumption and carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the blood, pressure inside the skull and other factors. This regulation of blood flow is achieved primarily by arterioles (small arteries) dilating and contracting, under the influence of multiple complex physiological control systems. Impairment of these systems may occur e.g. following stroke, trauma or anaesthesia, in premature babies or the elderly, and has been implicated in the development of subsequent brain injury. The non-invasive measurement of relevant physiological signals (blood flow, intracranial and blood pressure, CO2 levels, cerebral oxygen consumption etc.) is challenging and the subsequent assessment of the control systems even more so. Much also remains unknown about the physiology of blood flow control and the best clinical interventions to optimize patient outcome.

Mission Statement


Cerebral autoregulation refers to the physiological mechanisms that maintain bloodflow at an appropriate level, especially during changes in blood pressure. Due to the important influences of arterial carbon dioxide levels, cerebral metabolic rate, neural activation, activity of the sympathetic nervous system, posture, as well as other physiological variables, 'cerebral autoregulation' is often interpreted as also encompassing the wider field of cerebral blood flow regulation, including areas such as CO2 reactivity, neurovascular coupling and other aspects of cerebral haemodynamics.

Understanding and measuring autoregulation remains a big challenge, and despite great clinical interest and much research effort, benefit to patients has so far been limited.

CARNet therefore aims to bring the multidisciplinary research community working in this area together in order to promote and accelerate high quality research by:

  • Sharing data
  • Sharing methods, including experimental arrangements and data analysis
  • Share results, experiences and ideas

CARNet aims to create an environment of trust, openness and confidentiality in which free discussion of scientific ideas, data and results can flourish.



Fall 2021 Virtual Seminar Series

Date: 25/08/2021

Dr. Patrice Brassard and Dr. Caroline Rickards are coordinating a new virtual seminar series on cerebral blood flow regulation for this Fall/Autumn. Further details can be found on the Resources > Seminars tab.

Congratulations to CARNet 2021 prize winners

Date: 30/04/2021

  • Best Oral Presentation:
    Internal jugular vein hemodynamics are direct predictors of critical closing pressure during a progressive Valsalva maneuver, Andrew Robertson (University of Waterloo)
  • Best Poster Presentation:
    Associations between peripherally measured neurovascular signal entropy and brain predicted-age difference score (BrainPAD), Silvin Knight (Trinity College Dublin)
  • Best Oral Presentation by a Student:
    The key role of pericytes in cerebral autoregulation: a modelling study, Selena Milanovic (University of Oxford)
  • Best Poster Presentation by a Student:
    Changes in Neurovascular Coupling with Cerebral Perfusion Pressure Linked to Cerebral Autoregulatory Health, Deepshikha Acharya (Carnegie Mellon University)

Spring 2021 Virtual Seminar Series

Date: 30/01/2021

Dr. Patrice Brassard and Dr. Caroline Rickards are coordinating a new virtual seminar series on cerebral blood flow regulation for this Spring. Further details can be found on the Resources > Seminars tab.

Successful 2020 Virtual Seminar Series

Date: 30/11/2020

The first virtual seminar series on cerebral blood flow regulation was a complete success with an avarage of 114 attendees per session. Links to the videos of the presentations are posted on Resources > Seminars tab.