Augmented limb blood flow during neurovascular stress in physically fit women

Rod K. Dishman*, Erica M. Jackson, Yoshio Nakamura, Chester A. Ray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The study examined whether cardiorespiratory fitness modifies cardiovascular responses by normotensive men and women during the Stroop color-word interference test. Independent of age and an estimate of body fatness, fitness level was positively related (R2=.39 and .51) to increases in limb blood flow and vascular conductance, coherent with cardiac-vagal withdrawal and a decrease in heart period, among women but not men. Fitness was unrelated to changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressures and muscle sympathetic nerve activity. The augmented hemodynamic responses among fitter women were not consistent with passive vasodilation via withdrawal of sympathetic neural tone. The results encourage further gender comparisons testing whether fitness augments limb blood flow during mental stress by neurohumoral and flow-mediated vasodilatory mechanisms or by increased cardiac output.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-840
Number of pages10
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sep


  • Blood flow
  • Heart period variability
  • Muscle sympathetic nerve activity
  • Neurovascular stress
  • Vascular conductance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


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