Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Hyperthermia. 2011;27(1):1-9. doi: 10.3109/02656736.2010.516305. Epub 2010 Nov 11.

Alterations in cognitive performance during passive hyperthermia are task dependent.

Author information

Research and Education Centre, ASPETAR, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar.


The objectives of this study were to (1) assess the effect of passive heating upon attention and memory task performance, and (2) evaluate the effectiveness of the application of cold packs to the head on preserving these functions. Using a counter-balance design 16 subjects underwent three trials: a control (CON, 20°C, 40% rH), hot (HOT, 50°C, 50% rH) and hot with the head kept cool (HHC). In each condition, three attention tests and two memory tests were performed. Mean core, forehead and tympanic temperatures were all significantly higher (p < 0.05) during HOT (38.6° ±0.1°, 39.6° ± 0.2° and 38.8°±0.1°C, respectively) and HHC (38° ± 0.2, 37.7° ± 0.3° and 37.7°C, respectively) than in CON (37.1° ± 0.6°, 33.3° ± 0.2° and 35.9° ± 0.3°C, respectively). Results indicate that there was impairment in working memory with heat exposure (p < 0.05) without alteration in attentional processes. The regular application of cold packs only prevented the detrimental effect of hyperthermia on short-term memory. Our results show that impairments in cognitive function with passive hyperthermia and the beneficial effect of head cooling are task dependent and suggests that exposure to a hot environment is a competing variable to the cognitive processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center