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Biol Psychol. 2006 Oct;73(3):227-34. Epub 2006 May 15.

Lower blood pressure correlates with poorer performance on visuospatial attention tasks in younger individuals.

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Department of Psychology, The George Washington University, 2125 G Street, Washington, DC 20005, United States.


The relationship between low blood pressure and cognitive function among younger individuals is not fully understood. While a number of studies have examined hypertensive and hypotensive individuals, particularly in older populations, little attention has been devoted to healthy, young populations. We tested 105 healthy young individuals whose blood pressure levels naturally fell in the below normal-to-normal range. Our primary finding was a positive relation between blood pressure and cognition, as measured by two visuospatial attention tasks. This relation appears to be specific to visuospatial skills, as no relationship was observed between recognition memory and blood pressure. We discuss possible explanations for this positive relationship, such as structural neural mechanisms, and how they apply to the overall blood pressure-cognition relationship.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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