Ambient temperature affects glabrous skin vasculature and sweating responses to mental task in humans

Naoyuki Hayashi*, Nami Someya, Yoshitaka Hirooka, Shunsaku Koga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


We compared responses in heart rate (HR), mean blood pressure (MAP), sweating rate (SR), sweating expulsion (SwE), and skin vascular conductance (VC) to mental task among different ambient temperature (Ta) conditions, i.e., 12, 16, 20, and 24°C. Seven subjects (27±5 yrs, 64±14 kg) underwent a 2-min color word conflict test (CWT) after 2 mins of baseline data acquisition following a 20-min resting period. All subjects wore long sleeve shirts and long pants. The skin blood flow was measured with a laser Doppler probe on the left index finger pulp to calculate skin VC, and the SR and sweating expulsion (SwE) were measured with a ventilated capsule on the left thenar. CWT significantly increased the HR and MAP, while there was no significant effect of Ta on the magnitudes of these responses. CWT significantly decreased the skin VC when the Ta was 24°C, whereas it significantly increased the skin VC when the Ta was 12 or 16°C. CWT significantly increased SR and SwE in all Ta conditions, and the SwE was greater in warmer conditions. These findings suggest that different ambient temperatures induce different responses in finger skin vasculature to mental task, implying the independent response of cutaneous vasomotor tone and sweat glands in glabrous skin to mental task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-231
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of physiological anthropology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Ambient temperature
  • Blood flow
  • Mental task
  • Sweating rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Anthropology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


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