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Neurosci Lett. 1994 May 19;172(1-2):129-33.

Non-synchronous behavior of neuronal activity, oxidative metabolism and blood supply during mental tasks in man.

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  • 1Institute for Electronic Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


In near-infrared spectroscopic studies during mental tasks such as problem solving and mental arithmetic, we found that 9 of 33 healthy volunteers showed decreases in both the regional cerebral blood flow (r-CBF) and oxygen consumption rate (CMRO2) in the frontal region of the dominant hemisphere. To confirm these unexpected observations, we performed simultaneous measurements by positron emission tomography (PET) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in two such subjects. PET images also showed that CBF decreased within the presumptive area illuminated by near-infrared light during mental task. However, CBF decreased in almost all regions while the subject gave a correct answer. Thus, the questions arose: Are mental tasks always associated with increases in r-CBF and/or CMRO2?

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