Spatially resolved spectroscopy (SRS) is a new near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) method that, using the multi-distance approach, measures local cerebral cortex hemoglobin oxygen saturation [J. Matcher, P. Kirkpatrick, K. Nahid, M. Cope, and D. T. Delpy, Proc. SPIE 2389, 486–495 (1995)]. Using a conventional continuous wave NIRS photometer, cerebral venous oxygen saturation (SvO2) can be calculated from oxyhemoglobin and total hemoglobin rise induced by partial occlusion of jugular vein [C. E. Elwell, S. J. Matcher, L. Tyszczuk, J. H. Meek, and D. T. Delpy, Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 411, 453–460 (1997)]. The aim of this study was to compare direct measurements of forehead tissue oxygenation index (TOI) with the calculated SvO2 during venous occlusion in 16 adult volunteers using a clinical two-channel SRS oximeter (NIRO-300). Measured TOI and calculated SvO2 values of either right or left forehead did not significantly differ. A good agreement between the two NIRS methods was also demonstrated. On 16 other subjects, no significant differences were found between the right and left forehead TOI values measured simultaneously, and between the TOI values measured by channel 1 or 2 on the same side. The results confirm that cerebral cortex hemoglobin oxygen saturation, measured directly by the SRS method, reflects predominantly the saturation of the intracranial venous compartment of circulation.