Thermal pleasantness sensation: an indicator of thermal stress

  • M. Attia
  • P. Engel
Article

Summary

The degree of pleasantness or unpleasantness of thermal sensation aroused by a particular peripheral thermal stimulus has been shown to be an indicator of thermal state of the body in relation to the thermoregulatory set point. This phenomenon is known as thermal alliesthesia. The quantification of thermal alliesthesia was possible using two methods: (1) A set of temperature stimuli (15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 38‡ C) was applied, by means of a Peltier thermode 5.5×2.7 cm2, on the back of the hand, the forehead, and the back of the neck. When each stimulus had been applied for 5 s the subjects voted their degree of thermal pleasantness/unpleasantness on a psychophysical scale ranging from +2.0 for very pleasant to −2.0 for very unpleasant. (2) The subjects were also asked to adjust the Peltier thermode temperature, without looking at the temperature scale, such that the temperature (on the back of the neck) was maintained at the level the subjects considered most pleasant. The subjects also rated their general thermal comfort sensation on a five point scale ranging from +2.0 for very comfortable to −2.0 for very uncomfortable. Rectal temperature and skin temperature at eight locations were continuously recorded. Passive thermal exposures (54) were made with nine passive subjects and 42 exposures were done with working (50 watt) subjects. All exposures were carried out in a climatic chamber at a constant temperature, relative humidity (45%), and air speed (0.3 m/s). Each subject underwent 6 exposures at six room temperatures of 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40‡ C. The results of work exposures confirmed the findings of previous studies; namely, the effect of core temperature change overrides any effect due to mean skin temperature on alliesthesial response. A mathematical function to predict the mean slope of the thermal pleasantness rating/stimulus line (a measure of the alliesthesial response) was derived using the data obtained from the passive thermal exposures. The results indicate that alliesthesial response can be used as a quantitative indicator of thermal stress.

Key words

Thermal comfort Thermal pleasantness Thermal stress 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Attia M, Engel P, Hildebrandt G (1979) Circadian variations of thermal comfort during work. Chronobiologia 6 (2): 76Google Scholar
  2. Attia M (1980) Thermal alliesthesial reactions and thermal comfort parameters, with special reference to industrial heat exposures and spinal cord transections. Doctoral Dissertation, School of Medicine, University of Marburg (Lahn)Google Scholar
  3. Attia M, Engel P, Hildebrandt G (1980a) Thermal comfort during work; a function of time of day. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 45: 205–215Google Scholar
  4. Attia M, Engel P, Hildebrandt G (1980b) Quantification of thermal comfort parameters using a behavioral indicator. Physiol Behav 24: 901–909Google Scholar
  5. Attia M, Engel P, Hildebrandt G (1980c) Thermal comfort during work: an alternative approach using a behavioral indicator. In: Fekete I, Meszaros F (eds) Proc of 7th Intern Congr of Heating and Air-Cond-CLIMA 2000, vol 1, pp 1–13, vol 3, p 959. Scient Soc of Build, BudapestGoogle Scholar
  6. Attia M, Engel P (1980) A field study of thermal stress and recovery using thermoregulatory behavioral and physiological indicators. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 47: 21–33Google Scholar
  7. Attia M, Engel P (1981) Thermal alliesthesial response in man is independent of skin location stimulated. Physiol Behav 27: 439–444Google Scholar
  8. Attia M, Engel P, Hildebrandt G (1982) Assessment of thermal comfort parameters using a behavioral indicator, with special reference to physically disabled. In: Hensel H, Hildebrandt G (eds) Biological adaptation. Thieme, Stuttgart New York, pp 212–215Google Scholar
  9. Cabanac M (1969) Plaisir ou deplaisir de la sensation thermique et homeothermial. Physiol Behav 4: 359–364Google Scholar
  10. Cabanac M, Cunningham DJ, Stolwijk JAJ (1971) Thermoregulatory set point during exercise. J Comp Physiol Psychol 76: 94–102Google Scholar
  11. Cabanac M, Massonnet B, Belaiche R (1972) Preferred skin temperature as a function of internal and mean skin temperature. J Appl Physiol 33: 699–703Google Scholar
  12. Cabanac M (1973) Thermoregulatory behavior. In: Bligh J, Moore B (eds) Essays in temperature. North Holland Publ Co, Amsterdam, pp 19–36Google Scholar
  13. Cabanac M, Hildebrandt G, Massonnet B, Strempel H (1976) A study of the nycthemeral cycle of behavioral temperature regulation in man. J Physiol 257: 275–292Google Scholar
  14. Cabanac M, Massonnet B (1977) Thermoregulatory responses as a function of core temperature in humans. J Physiol 265: 587–596Google Scholar
  15. Cabanac M (1979) Sensory pleasure. Q Rev Biol 54(1): 1–29Google Scholar
  16. Corbit DJ (1969) Behavioral regulation of hypothalamic temperature. Science 166: 256Google Scholar
  17. Corbit DJ (1970) Behavioral regulation of body temperature. In: Hardy JD, Gagge AP, Stolwijk JAJ (eds) Physiological and behavioral temperature regulation. Thomas, Springfield, pp 777–801Google Scholar
  18. Hardy JD (1972) Peripheral inputs to the central regulator for body temperature. In: Itoh S, Ogata K, Yoshimura H (eds) Advances in climatic physiology. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 3–21Google Scholar
  19. Hensel H (1979) Thermoregulation and human comfort. In: Fanger PO, Valbjorn O (eds) Indoor climate. Danish Build Res Inst, Copenhagen, pp 425–440Google Scholar
  20. Hensel H (1981) Thermoreception and temperature regulation. Academic Press, London New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Hildebrandt G (1974) Circadian variations of thermoregulatory response in man. In: Scheving LE, Halberg F, Pauly JE (eds) Chronobiology. Igaku Shoin Ltd, Tokyo, pp 223–240Google Scholar
  22. Hildebrandt G, Engel P, Attia M (1981) Temperaturregulation und thermischer Komfort. Die lokale Messung der thermischen Alliesthesie in der Physikalischen Medizin. Z Phys Med 10: 49–61Google Scholar
  23. Mower GD (1976) Perceived intensity of peripheral thermal stimuli is independent of internal body temperature. J Comp Physiol Psychol 90(12): 1152–1155Google Scholar
  24. Nielsen M (1938) Die Regulation der Körpertemperatur bei Muskelarbeit. Skand Arch Physiol 79: 193–230Google Scholar
  25. Scharf FH (1970) Kurze Einführung in die nicht lineare Regressionsrechnung. In: Adam J, Scharf FH, Enke H (Hrsg) Methoden der statistischen Analyse in Medizin und Biologie. VEB Verlag Volk u Gesundheit, Berlin, pp 143–227Google Scholar
  26. Stitt JT, Adair ER, Nadel RE, Stolwijk JAJ (1970) The relationship between behavior and physiology in the thermoregulatory response of the squirrel monkey. J Physiol (Paris) 63: 424–427Google Scholar
  27. Stolwijk JAJ (1979) Physiological responses and thermal comfort in changing environmental temperature and humidity. In: Fanger PO, Valbjorn O (eds) Indoor climate, Danish Build Res Inst, Copenhagen, pp 491–506Google Scholar
  28. Strempel H, Hildebrandt G, Cabanac M, Massonnet B (1976) Tagesrhythmische Einflüsse auf die Thermoregulation unter thermischen Belastungen. In: Hildebrandt G (Hrsg) Biologische Rhythmen und Arbeit. Springer, Wien New YorkGoogle Scholar
  29. Yaglou CP (1927) The comfort zone for men at rest and stripped to the waist. Trans Am Soc Heating Ventilating Engineers 33: 165Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Attia
    • 1
  • P. Engel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Work Physiology and Rehabilitation ResearchPhilipps-University of Marburg (Lahn)Hessisch LichtenauGermany

Personalised recommendations