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Psychological sweating from glabrous and nonglabrous skin surfaces under thermoneutral conditions

Authors

  • Christiano A. Machado-Moreira,

    1. Centre for Human and Applied Physiology, School of Health Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
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  • Nigel A. S. Taylor

    Corresponding author
    • Centre for Human and Applied Physiology, School of Health Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
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  • This project was supported, in part, by a Doctoral scholarship from Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—CAPES (Ministry of Education, Brazil).

Address correspondence to: Nigel A. S. Taylor, Ph.D., Centre for Human and Applied Physiology, School of Health Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. E-mail: nigel_taylor@uow.edu.au

Abstract

Recent experiments revealed psychological sweating to be a ubiquitous phenomenon in passively heated individuals. Since heating potentiates sweating, and since most research into psychological sweating was not conducted in this thermal state, these observations required thermoneutral verification. Thermoneutral subjects performed mental arithmetic (at 26oC) with psychological sweating evaluated from nine sites (ventilated capsules, skin conductance). Discharged sweating was evident from three glabrous sites (P < .05). However, significant sweating was evident from two nonglabrous surfaces (P < .05), and skin conductance increased at the volar and dorsal finger surfaces (P < .05). Each of these changes occurred while core and skin temperatures remained stable (P > .05). These thermoneutral observations further refute the proposition that psychological sweating in humans is restricted to the glabrous skin surfaces.

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