Relation of cerebral blood flow velocity and level of vigilance in humans

Cornelia Schnittger, Sönke Johannes, Anouscheh Arnavaz, Thomas F. Münte*

*Corresponding author for this work
24 Citations (Scopus)


Blood flow velocities in both middle cerebral arteries (MCA) were measured using transcranial Doppler ultrasound (TCD) in healthy subjects engaged in a continuous static visual vigilance task. Stimuli comprised white vertical gratings on a black background with a size of 5 x 5°(non-targets) or 5 x 3.5°(targets). Button presses were required to the rare (8.5%) targets. Over the 30 min session a decrease in hit rate and an increase in reaction time were seen, indicating a decrease in vigilance. These performance changes were paralleled by a decrease in flow velocity in both MCAs. No hemispheric difference was seen. These data suggest a close coupling of performance and blood flow in vigilance tasks. Modulation of cholinergic activity during the vigilance task might be the common underlying mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1637-1639
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.1997

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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