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Appl Ergon. 2008 Mar;39(2):166-70. Epub 2007 Jul 27.

Physiological mechanism underlying the improvement in visuospatial performance due to 30% oxygen inhalation.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Research Institute of Biomedical Engineering, College of Biomedical & Health Science, Konkuk University, 322 Danwall-dong, Chungju, Chungbuk 380-701, South Korea.


This study investigated the effect of 30% oxygen inhalation on visuospatial cognitive performance, blood oxygen saturation, and heart rate. Six male (25.8(mean)+/-1.0(SD) years) and six female (23.8+/-1.9 years) college students participated in this experiment. Two psychological tests were developed to measure the performance level of visuospatial cognition. The experiment consisted of two runs: one was a visuospatial cognition task under normal air (21% oxygen) condition and the other under hyperoxic air (30% oxygen) condition. The experimental sequence in each run consisted of four phases, that were Rest1 (1min), Control (1min), Task (4min), and Rest2 (4min). Blood oxygen saturation and heart rate were measured throughout the course of four phases. The analysis of behavioral performance with 30% oxygen administration when compared to 21% oxygen revealed that the mean performance was improved. When supplied 30% oxygen in the air, the blood oxygen saturation was increased while the heart rate was decreased compared to those under 21% oxygen condition. We conclude that 30% oxygen inhalation enhanced visuospatial performance by the increased the oxygen saturation in the blood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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