Changes in cerebral hemodynamics and oxygenation induced by different speech tasks – an assessment by combining functional near‐infrared spectroscopy and capnography

Scholkmann, Felix; Klein, Sabine D.; Gerber, Ursina; Wolf, Ursula (November 2013). Changes in cerebral hemodynamics and oxygenation induced by different speech tasks – an assessment by combining functional near‐infrared spectroscopy and capnography (Unpublished). In: Day of Clinical Research. 06.11.2013.

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In several studies, we found that during guided rhythmic speech exercises, a decrease in cerebral hemodynamics and oxygenation occurred as the result of a decrease in the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the arterial blood (PaCO2) during speaking. To further explore the effect of PaCO2 variations on cerebral hemodynamics and oxygenation, the aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of spoken, inner and heard speech tasks on these parameters.
Material and Methods
Speech tasks included recitation or inner recitation or listening to hexameter, alliteration, prose, or performing mental arithmetic. The following physiological parameters were measured: tissue oxygen saturation (StO2) and absolute concentrations of oxyhemoglobin, deoxyhemoglobin, total hemoglobin (over the left and right anterior prefrontal cortex, using an ISS OxiplexTS frequency domain near-infrared spectrometer) and end-tidal CO2 (PETCO2; using Nellcor N1000 and Datex NORMOCAP capnographs).
Statistical analysis was applied to the differences between baseline, 2 tasks, and 3 post-baseline periods. Data of 3 studies with 24, 7 and 29 healthy subjects, respectively, were combined, and linear regression analyses were calculated.
Linear regression analyses revealed significant relations between changes in oxyhemoglobin, deoxyhemoglobin, total hemoglobin or StO2 and the participants’ age, the baseline PETCO2 or certain speech tasks. While hexameter verses affected changes during the tasks, alliteration verses only affected changes during the recovery phase.
Discussion and Conclusion
The observed effects in hemodynamics and oxygenation indicate a combination of neurovascular coupling (increased neuronal activity leading to an increase in the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen resulting in an increase in cerebral flood flow/volume) and CO2 reactivity (increased breathing during speech tasks causing a decrease in PaCO2 leading to vasoconstriction and decrease in cerebral blood flow). The neurovascular coupling characteristics are task-dependent.
Scholkmann F, Gerber U, Wolf M, Wolf U. End-tidal CO2: An important parameter for a correct interpretation in functional brain studies using speech tasks. Neuroimage 2013;66:71-79.
Scholkmann F, Wolf M, Wolf U. The effect of inner speech on arterial CO2, cerebral hemodynamics and oxygenation – A functional NIRS study. Adv Exp Med Biol 2013;789:81-87.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of Complementary and Integrative Medicine (IKIM)

UniBE Contributor:

Scholkmann, Felix; Klein, Sabine and Wolf, Ursula


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Sabine Klein

Date Deposited:

21 May 2014 09:59

Last Modified:

21 Dec 2018 13:36




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