The frequency spectrum of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pulse and the amplitude transfer function between arterial and CSF pressures were measured from the cisterna magna of anesthetized, artificially ventilated cats when the intracranial pressure (ICP) was raised by saline infusion. The spectrum of CSF pulsation was composed of a fundamental and three higher harmonic waves. The amplitude and the amplitude transfer function of each spectral component revealed significant positive correlation with ICP and negative correlation with cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP). Both the amplitude and the transfer function of the fundamental CSF pulse wave showed an exponential correlation with ICP and CPP. A distortion factor of the CSF pulse wave, a measure of its difference from a simple sine wave, was calculated from the spectral components. This showed that distortion of the CSF pulse wave was rapidly and progressively reduced as the ICP rose to 50 mm Hg and then was reduced less thereafter.