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Author(s)

Vera Abeln, Stefan Schneider, Axel Knicker, Thorsten Schiffer, Wildor Hollmann and Heiko Klaus Strüder

Affiliation(s)

ABSTRACT

The correlation of NIRS (near-infrared spectroscopy) and EEG (electro-cortical activity) in exercise studies has never been shown. Eight sport students performed an incremental bicycle exercise test under normoxic and hypoxic (12.7% O2) conditions respectively. EEG and NIRS recordings of the prefrontal cortex (PFC, Brodmann area 10. 46) were performed synchronously to shed light on their correlation. ANOVA revealed a higher absolute workload (231.3 ± 37.2 W), and relative PFC oxygenation under normoxic conditions, whereas hypoxic conditions resulted in earlier exhaustion (200 ± 26.7 W) and reduced PFC oxygenation. NIRS parameters increased remarkably with exercise intensity (P < 0.001) and differed between conditions (O2Hb: P < 0.001; HHb: P = 0.023; tHb: P = 0.016) and hemispheres (O2Hb: P = 0.023). For EEG, higher prefrontal cortical current density during compared to pre and post exercise was revealed for both conditions (P < 0.001). No difference between conditions and hemispheres were found. In conclusion, brain cortical activity is not impaired by hypoxia. No correlation between NIRS and EEG, but a moderate correlation between EEG and cardio-vascular parameters and a moderate to high correlation between NIRS and cardio-vascular parameters were found. The results emphasize that the transfer of EEG and NIRS results need to be done with caution. 

KEYWORDS

Cerebral oxygenation, central fatigue, cortical current density, prefrontal cortex.

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