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Indoor Air. 2019 Mar;29(2):308-319. doi: 10.1111/ina.12525. Epub 2018 Dec 31.

Regulation of sensory nerve conduction velocity of human bodies responding to annual temperature variations in natural environments.

Li B1,2, Du C1,2, Liu H1,2, Yu W1,2, Zheng J1,2, Tan M1,2, Jin Z1,2, Li W1,2, Wu J1,2, Chen L1,2, Yao R1,2.

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Joint International Research Laboratory of Green Buildings and Built Environments (Ministry of Education), Chongqing University, Chongqing, China.
National Centre for International Research of Low-carbon and Green Buildings, Ministry of Science and Technology), Chongqing University, Chongqing, China.


The extensive research interests in environmental temperature can be linked to human productivity/performance as well as comfort and health; while the mechanisms of physiological indices responding to temperature variations remain incompletely understood. This study adopted a physiological sensory nerve conduction velocity (SCV) as a temperature-sensitive biomarker to explore the thermoregulatory mechanisms of human responding to annual temperatures. The measurements of subjects' SCV (over 600 samples) were conducted in a naturally ventilated environment over all four seasons. The results showed a positive correlation between SCV and annual temperatures and a Boltzmann model was adopted to depict the S-shaped trend of SCV with operative temperatures from 5°C to 40°C. The SCV increased linearly with operative temperatures from 14.28°C to 20.5°C and responded sensitively for 10.19°C-24.59°C, while tended to be stable beyond that. The subjects' thermal sensations were linearly related to SCV, elaborating the relation between human physiological regulations and subjective thermal perception variations. The findings reveal the body SCV regulatory characteristics in different operative temperature intervals, thereby giving a deeper insight into human autonomic thermoregulation and benefiting for built environment designs, meantime minimizing the temperature-invoked risks to human health and well-being.


S-shaped characteristics; natural environment; sensory nerve conduction velocity; temperature variation; thermal sensation; thermoregulatory zone


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