The validation of measurement of cerebral blood volume (CBV) and cerebral blood flow (CBF) using near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) against jugular venous occlusion plethysmography is described. Repeated measurements in six infants were made using both techniques simultaneously. A close relationship between the two measurements of change in CBV was obtained in five infants. There was also a close relationship for measurement of CBF in four infants. This study confirms the possibility of using NIRS to monitor CBV continuously in the premature infant. This parameter may prove to be of greater clinical value than the intermittent measurement of CBF.