Correlation between blood flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery and EEG during cognitive effort

Imre Szirmai, Ilona Amrein, László Pálvölgyi, Róbert Debreczeni, Anita Kamondi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)


Cognitive effort modifies blood flow velocity (BFV) in the middle cerebral artery (MCA) which can be recorded by transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD). EEG parameters can be used as indicators of cortical activation. To find temporal and spatial relation between circulatory and bioelectric phenomena, we used combined EEG and TCD measurements during cognitive experiments. Bilateral BFV in the MCAs and 16-channel scalp EEG were recorded during mental arithmetic (MA) and verbal fluency (VF) tests in 12 healthy volunteers. Temporal profile of BFV, heart rate (HR), EEG central frequency (CF), relative alpha power (rαp), and laterality index (Li) for BFV and CF were statistically analysed. During mental effort, BFV changes showed a reproducible pattern, which was different in MA and VF tests. The LiBFV correlated with handedness in 9/12 subjects (75%) in the VF, and in 6/12 subjects (50%) in the MA test. Significant correlation was found between LiBFV and LiCF during VF (r2 = 0.69). Li was more indicative for the hemispheric dominance in the VF than in the MA test. During VF test, correlation between HR and BFV was significant in 7/12 subjects. CF and rαp provide real time assessment of the functional state of the brain tissue during cognition. The correlation between CF and BFV during mental activity suggests a short latency neurogenic and a long latency, supposedly chemical regulation of regional blood flow. Parallel analysis of EEG and flow parameters increases the confidence of determining hemispheric dominance and provides an alternative to study physiological consequences of cognitive processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalCognitive Brain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2005


  • Alpha power
  • Blood flow velocity
  • Cognitive tests
  • EEG
  • Hemispheric dominance
  • Transcranial Doppler sonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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