Skip Navigation

John G. McHaffie, PhD





Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, 1984


The brain is composed of a host of different regions, each seemingly devoted to specific functions. Yet, in order to produce even relatively 'simple' behaviors, like noticing a bird flying across the evening sky, requires the coordinated activity of many structures through complex neural networks. In an effort to determine how the interplay of multiple brain regions leads to adaptive behaviors, our laboratory is currently focused on understanding the neuroanatomical and physiological relationships among the cortex, midbrain superior colliculus, and the basal ganglia. Our long term goal is to facilitate the development of therapies for ameliorating neurological deficits in patients.

A second enduring interest has been in the physiology of nociception and how adaptive and non-adaptive pain behaviors are produced. Early work emphasized traditional electrophysiological recording while more recent efforts involve human imaging and psychophysics techniques.  

Selected Publications

Zeidan F, KT Martucci, RA Kraft, NS Gordon, JG McHaffie, and RC Coghill (2011) Brain mechanisms supporting modulation of pain by meditation. J. Neurosci. 31(14): 5540-5548.

Jiang H, BE Stein, and JG McHaffie (2009) Cortical lesion-induced visual hemineglect is prevented by NMDA antagonist pretreatment.  J. Neurosci. 29(21): 6917-6925.

Fuentes-Santamaria V, JC Alvarado, BE Stein and JG McHaffie (2008) Cortex contacts both output neurons and nitrergic interneurons in the superior colliculus: Direct and indirect routes for multisensory integration.  Cerebral Cortex 18: 1640-1652.

McHaffie JG, TR Stanford, BE Stein, V Coizet and P Redgrave (2005) Subcortical loops through the basal ganglia.  Trends Neurosci. 28(8): 401-407.

Koyama T, J McHaffie, P Laurienti, and R Coghill  (2005) The subjective experience of pain: Where expectations become reality.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 102: 12950-12955.

Jiang H, BE Stein, and JG McHaffie (2003) Opposing basal ganglia processes shape midbrain visuomotor activity bilaterally. Nature 423: 982-986.

Coghill RC, JG McHaffie and Y-F Yen (2003) Neural correlates of inter-individual differences in the subjective experience of pain.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 100: 8538-8542.  

Quick Reference

Neurobiology & Anatomy

Phone 336-716-4368

Dr. Barry E. Stein

Dr. Barry E. Stein, Chairman
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC  27157-1010
Find A Doctor Ways to Give
Last Updated: 10-10-2016
Wake Forest Baptist Ranked among Nation’s ‘Best Hospitals’  25 Years in a Row by U.S. News & World ReportComprehensive Cancer Centers National Designation is Renewed2017-2018 Best DoctorsNursing Magnet StatusJoint Commission Report

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

© Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157. All Rights Reserved.