Document Detail

Acute changes in carbon dioxide levels alter the electroencephalogram without affecting cognitive function.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10934900     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the arterial blood (PaCO2) is usually tightly regulated, yet it varies among healthy people at rest (range approximately 32-44 mmHg) as well as within an individual during many natural life situations. The present study examined whether modest changes in end-tidal PCO2 (PETCO2; a noninvasive measure of PaCO2) affect electroencephalographic (EEG) activity, cognitive function, and vigilance. Nine adults were ventilated mechanically using a mouthpiece; respiratory rate and breath size were held constant while PETCO2 was set to levels that produced minimal discomfort. Despite discrete changes in EEG, neither acute PETCO2 increases (mean = 47 mmHg) nor decreases (mean = 30 mmHg) from resting levels (mean = 38 mmHg) affected performance on cognitive tasks, latency or amplitude of the N1, P2, or P3 event-related potential, or alertness. Modest changes in PETCO2 may cause significant alterations in the EEG without disturbing cognitive function.
E Bloch-Salisbury; R Lansing; S A Shea
Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychophysiology     Volume:  37     ISSN:  0048-5772     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychophysiology     Publication Date:  2000 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-08-29     Completed Date:  2000-08-29     Revised Date:  2009-11-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0142657     Medline TA:  Psychophysiology     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  418-26     Citation Subset:  IM    
Physiology Program, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Alpha Rhythm / drug effects
Arousal / drug effects
Blood Pressure / drug effects
Carbon Dioxide / pharmacology*
Cognition / drug effects*
Electroencephalography / drug effects*
Evoked Potentials, Auditory / drug effects
Fourier Analysis
Heart Rate / drug effects
Psychomotor Performance / drug effects
Respiration, Artificial
Reg. No./Substance:
124-38-9/Carbon Dioxide

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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