Effects of Cerebral Blood Flow and PETCO2 on Cognitive Function During Passive Heat Stress
Watson, Cody Lang
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This thesis tested whether cognitive performance during passive heat stress may be affected by changes in cerebrovascular variables as opposed to strictly thermally-induced changes. A pharmacological reduction in cerebral blood flow (CBF) using indomethacin along with a hypocapnia-induced CBF reduction during passive heat stress (Tre ~1.5°C above baseline) were used to investigate any cerebrovascular-mediated changes in cognitive performance. Repeated measures analysis of variance indicated that One-Touch Stockings of Cambridge (OTS) performance was not affected by a significant reduction in CBF during passive heat stress. More specifically, OTS accuracy measures did not change as a result of either a reduction in CBF or increasing passive heat stress. However, it was found that OTS response time indices improved with increasing passive heat stress independent of CBF changes. In conclusion, a significant reduction in CBF does not cause additional changes in performance of an executive functioning task during severe passive heat stress.