For its size, the brain needs more oxygen than any other organ in the body - but many factors can interrupt its oxygen supply.
Yet, remarkably, the brain can sometimes survive extremely low oxygen pressure on the summit of Mt Everest - or even more oxygen deprivation during extreme breath-holding diving.
A world-renowned authority on brain blood flow and function, Professor Phil Ainslie, will deliver two public lectures at The University of Western Australia on his research into the effects of high altitude and deep-sea diving on the brain.
Professor Ainslie is a Raine Foundation Visiting Professor from the University of British Columbia where he is Director of the Centre for Heart, Lung and Vascular Health. He is at the forefront of his field, having published more than 170 high-impact journal articles, more than 15 major book chapters and one book.
His research includes examining the effects of exercise, carbon dioxide and blood pressure fluctuations on the health and function of the brain.
The first lecture, "New Concepts in the Regulation of Cerebral Blood Flow in Humans", is on Monday 24 November at 12.50pm for a 1pm start in the John Bloomfield Lecture Theatre in UWA's School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, First Floor, Parkway Entrance Three.
It will cover new ideas and concepts regarding the physiology and medicine of brain health and blood flow.
The second lecture, "Testing the Limits of the Human Brain" is on Wednesday 26 November at 5.50pm for a 6pm start in the Theatre Auditorium of The University of Western Australia Club, Hackett Drive Entrance One.
In this, Professor Ainslie will compare human survival feats with examples of true adaptation in high-flying geese and diving mammals.
The Raine Medical Research Foundation was established in 1957 by Mary Raine, who bequeathed her property empire to UWA to fund medical research.
Since it was set up, the Foundation has made a distinguished contribution to medical research. It has supported major research projects, funded two Centres of Excellence, established fellowships and scholarships, sponsored visits by international scholars, participated in major joint ventures and fostered medical research at undergraduate level.
Professor Daniel Green (UWA School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health) (+61 8) 6488 5609
Professor Peter Eastwood (UWA School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology) (+61 8) 9346 1706
Lyn Ellis (Raine Medical Research Foundation) (+61 8) 9386 9880
David Stacey (UWA Media Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716