The Effects of Hypocapnia on Psychomotor and Intellectual Performance.
FLYING PERSONNEL RESEARCH COMMITTEE LONDON (ENGLAND)
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Nine subjects performed 5 psychomotor tasks 2 motor, 2 intellectual and 1 combined motor and short term memory at 3 levels of alveolar carbon dioxide tension PACO2 with voluntary hyperventilation at 20 lmin. There were no performance decrements at PACO2 levels of 38.5 and 25.0 torr. At a PACO2 of 15.0 mm, there were no decrements of intellectual performance but there were highly significant decrements in motor performance. It is suggested that a lack of regional cerebral hypoxia, arising from compensating changes in regional cerebral blood flow, could be responsible for the preservation of intellectual performance at a PACO2 of 15 torr.