Franz Joebsis first used near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) as a tool for the in vivo monitoring of tissue oxygenation. Today, NIRS instruments are more and more used in clinical environments since these systems are now easy to use, sensitive, robust, give rapid analysis and have multiple measuring points. In the present work, optic fibre probes were used as optical head of a CW-NIR instrument adapted for in vivo NIRS measurements in the brain of rodents. This prototype was designed for non-invasive analysis of the two main forms of haemoglobin: oxy-haemoglobin (HbO2) and deoxy-haemoglobin (Hb), chromophores present in biological tissues. In the present experiments it was applied to measure non- invasively HbO2 and Hb levels in the rat brain; that are markers of the degree of tissue oxygenation, thus providing an index of blood levels and therefore of brain metabolism. In addition, the same animals set for central NIRS studies, were also surgically prepared for electrophysiological monitoring of cell firing in discrete brain areas. These are raphe dorsalis nucleus, locus coeruleus, ventral tegmental area that are defined as main serotoninergic, noradrenergic and dopaminergic cell containing regions of the CNS and therefore involved in the major cerebral syndromes. Then, following a control recording period, exogenous oxygen (O2, 0.1bar, 2min) or carbon dioxide (CO2 0.1bar, 20min) was inflated orally. The data gathered indicate an original relationship between NIRS analysis of brain metabolism and electrical changes in three major nuclei of CNS involved in neurophysiologic and pathologic activities.