Low intensity exercise does not impact cognitive function during exposure to normobaric hypoxia

Chul Ho Kim, Edward J. Ryan, Yongsuk Seo, Corey Peacock, John Gunstad, Matthew D. Muller, Angela L. Ridgel, Ellen L. Glickman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Exposure to hypoxia is associated with cognitive impairment, mediated by cerebral deoxygenation. This can be problematic for individuals who perform mental tasks at high altitude. Eight healthy men completed two experimental trials consisting of 5h of exposure to normobaric hypoxia (12.5% O2). In one of the experimental trials (Hypoxia) subjects remained resting in a seated position the entire 5h; in the other experimental trial (Hypoxia and Exercise) subjects rested 2h, cycled for 1h at constant wattage (workload equivalent to 50% of altitude adjusted VO2max), then rested the last 2h. Cerebral oxygenation was measured continuously via near-infrared spectroscopy and cognitive performance was assessed by Trail Making Test A and B. Cerebral oxygenation and cognitive performance both were impaired during exposure to hypoxia. In the Hypoxia and Exercise trial, subjects experienced further declinations in cerebral oxygenation without concomitant decreases in cognitive function. These data demonstrate that cognitive function declines during exposure to normobaric hypoxia and this decline is not exacerbated by low intensity exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-28
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Low intensity exercise does not impact cognitive function during exposure to normobaric hypoxia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this