Thermal comfort

Kei Nagashima*, Ken Tokizawa, Shuri Marui

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

16 Citations (Scopus)


The processes of thermoregulation are roughly divided into two categories: autonomic and behavioral. Behavioral thermoregulation alone does not have the capacity to regulate core temperature, as autonomic thermoregulation. However, behavioral thermoregulation is often utilized to maintain core temperature in a normal environment and is critical for surviving extreme environments. Thermal comfort, i.e., the hedonic component of thermal perception, is believed to be important for initiating and/or activating behavioral thermoregulation. However, the mechanisms involved are not fully understood. Thermal comfort is usually obtained when thermal stimuli to the skin restore core temperature to a regulated level. Conversely, thermal discomfort is produced when thermal stimuli result in deviations of core temperature away from a regulated level. Regional differences in the thermal sensitivity of the skin, hypohydration, and adaptation of the skin may affect thermal perception. Thermal comfort and discomfort seem to be determined by brain mechanisms, not by peripheral mechanisms such as thermal sensing by the skin. The insular and cingulate cortices may play a role in assessing thermal comfort and discomfort. In addition, brain sites involved in decision making may trigger behavioral responses to environmental changes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Clinical Neurology
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752
ISSN (Electronic)2212-4152


  • hedonic state
  • insular cortex
  • prefrontal cortex
  • regional difference
  • skin temperature
  • thermal discomfort
  • thermal sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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