Visual regional CBF (rCBF) responses were measured in 10 healthy male subjects before and after an ethanol dose of 1 g/kg body weight. This dose induces well-established cerebral vasodilatation. However, significant bilateral occipital increases were found in both conditions. Apparently, the coupling between neuronal activity and rCBF is preserved following ethanol. The occipital and posterior parietal flow increases were, however, larger on the right than the left side in the sober state. During inebriation the asymmetry disappeared, possibly representing a more undifferentiated processing of visual information. We propose that ethanol causes a reduced inhibition of the left posterior cortex and a reduction of right-hemisphere information processing.
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