We aimed to investigate whether changes in prefrontal cortex (PFC) oxyhemoglobin (O2Hb) and deoxyhemoglobin (HHb) associates with inspiratory muscle effort during inspiratory threshold loading (ITL) in healthy participants. Participants performed an incremental ITL. Breathing pattern, partial pressure of end-tidal CO2 (PETCO2), mouth pressure and O2Hb and HHb over the right dorsolateral PFC, sternocleidomastoid (SCM), and diaphragm/intercostals (Dia/IC) were monitored. Fourteen healthy participants (8 men; 29 ± 5 years) completed testing. Dyspnea was higher post- than pre-ITL (5 ± 1 vs. 0 ± 1, respectively; Ptextless0.05). PFC O2Hb increased (P textless 0.001) and HHb decreased (P = 0.001) at low loads but remained stable with increasing ITL intensities. PFC total hemoglobin increased at task failure compared to rest. SCM HHb increased throughout increasing intensities. SCM and Dia/IC total hemoglobin increased in the at task failure compared to rest. PETCO2 did not change (P = 0.528). PFC is activated early during the ITL but does not show central fatigue at task failure despite greater dyspnea and an imbalance of SCM oxygen demand and delivery.