We present a study of the near-infrared optical response to electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves. The sural nerve of six healthy subjects between the ages of 22 and 41 was stimulated with transcutaneous electrical pulses in a region located approximately above the ankle. A two-wavelength (690 and ) tissue spectrometer was used to probe the same sural nerve below the ankle. We measured optical changes that peaked 60 to after the electrical stimulus. On the basis of the strong wavelength dependence of these fast optical signals, we argue that their origin is mostly from absorption rather than scattering. From these absorption changes, we obtain oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin concentration changes that describe a rapid hemodynamic response to electrical nerve activation. In five out of six subjects, this hemodynamic response is an increase in total hemoglobin concentration, consistent with a fast vasodilation. Our findings support the hypothesis that the peripheral nervous system undergoes neurovascular coupling, even though more data is needed to prove such hypothesis.