Effect of pentobarbital on visual processing in man

Ernst Martin, Thorsten Thiel, Philipp Joeri, Thomas Loenneker, Dimitri Ekatodramis, Thierry Huisman, Juergen Hennig, Valentine L. Marcar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


To investigate the effect of sedative agents on visual processing in humans, we analysed the BOLD contrast signal response to a visual stimulation paradigm in 15 healthy, adult volunteers using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The subjects were tested during alert state and under sedation following intravenous administration of pentobarbital. The injection of pentobarbital not only significantly reduced the response signal strength but the reduction in BOLD contrast signal was related to the ratio of amount of sedative administered and the subject's body weight. The three subjects with the highest relative sedative dosage even displayed an inverted (negative) BOLD contrast signal. A significant reduction in the number of positively correlating pixels was found 15 min after administration of pentobarbital. All measured parameters returned to near pre-sedative levels by the end of the experimental session. The relative dosage dependence of the strength of the BOLD signal the negative BOLD signal in the three subjects with the highest relative sedative dosage indicates that pentobarbital had a more pronounced effect on cerebral blood flow than on cerebral oxidative metabolism. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-139
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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