The concept of enhancing brain activity and cognitive performance has been a subject of great interest, and emerging research suggests that the hyperbaric oxygen environment may play a significant role in this context. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), which involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber, is gaining attention for its potential to positively influence brain function and multitasking capabilities. This article explores the impact of a hyperbaric oxygen environment on brain activity and multitasking performance.


背景介绍 The Brain uses 20% of the total oxygen supply consumed by the entire body. Even though, <10% of the brain is active at any given time, it utilizes almost all the oxygen delivered. In order to perform complex tasks or more than one task (multitasking), the oxygen supply is shifted from one brain region to another, via blood perfusion modulation. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether a hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) environment, with increased oxygen supply to the brain, will enhance the performance of complex and/or multiple activities.

方法 A prospective, double-blind randomized control, crossover trial including 22 healthy volunteers. Participants were asked to perform a cognitive task, a motor task and a simultaneous cognitive-motor task (multitasking). Participants were randomized to perform the tasks in two environments: (a) normobaric air (1 ATA 21% oxygen) (b) HBO (2 ATA 100% oxygen). Two weeks later participants were crossed to the alternative environment. Blinding of the normobaric environment was achieved in the same chamber with masks on while hyperbaric sensation was simulated by increasing pressure in the first minute and gradually decreasing to normobaric environment prior to tasks performance.

结果 Compared to the performance at normobaric conditions, both cognitive and motor single tasks scores were significantly enhanced by HBO environment (p < 0.001 for both). Multitasking performance was also significantly enhanced in HBO environment (p = 0.006 for the cognitive part and p = 0.02 for the motor part).


Q1: What is a hyperbaric oxygen environment, and how does it differ from regular oxygen intake?

A1: A hyperbaric oxygen environment is a pressurized chamber in which individuals breathe high concentration oxygen at higher atmospheric pressures. This differs from regular oxygen intake as it allows the body to absorb a higher concentration of oxygen.

Q2: How does a hyperbaric oxygen environment affect brain activity?

A2: The increased oxygen levels in a hyperbaric environment can enhance oxygen delivery to the brain. This may lead to improved brain function, increased neural activity, and potentially enhanced cognitive performance.

Q3: What is multitasking performance, and how might a hyperbaric oxygen environment impact it?

A3: Multitasking performance refers to an individual’s ability to efficiently handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Research suggests that improved brain function resulting from a hyperbaric oxygen environment could enhance multitasking capabilities.

Q4: Are there specific conditions or cognitive tasks for which a hyperbaric oxygen environment is more beneficial in enhancing brain activity and multitasking?

A4: While research is ongoing, the potential benefits of a hyperbaric oxygen environment on brain activity and multitasking may vary among individuals and tasks. Some studies have explored its impact on cognitive tasks and neurological conditions.


The improvement in performance of both single and multi-tasking while in an HBO environment supports the hypothesis which according to, oxygen is indeed a rate limiting factor for brain activity. Hyperbaric oxygenation can serve as an environment for brain performance. Further studies are needed to evaluate the optimal oxygen levels for maximal brain performance.