Publication Details

Machado-Moreira, C. A., McLennan, P. L., Lillioja, S., Caldwell, J. N., Dijk, W. van. & Taylor, N. A. S. 2011, 'Unravelling some of the complexities concerning the neural control of human eccrine sweating', in S. Kounalakis & M. Koskolou (eds), 14th International Conference on Environmental Ergonomics (ICEE 2011), National and Kapodestrian University of Athens, Athens, pp. 140-143.


The widely accepted, though not unequivocal, opinion concerning thermal and psychological (psychogenic) seating is tha the former is cholinergically mediated (Dale & Feldberg, 1934), while the latter is of noradrenergic origin (Robertshaw, 1977). Moreover, psychological sweating is thought to be elicited by a different neural centre (Ogawa, 1975), possibly through separate pathways (Chalmers & Keele, 1952) that exclusively innervate the glabrous (non-hairy) skin of the hands and feet (Darow, 1937, Kuno, 1956, Ogawa, 1975). Evidence for the cholinergic modulation of thermal sweating is incontrovertible. However, evidence supporting the theoretical control of psychological sweating is less than convincing. Following observations of Chalmers & Keele (1952) and Kuno (1956) first Ogawa (1975), and then Ogawa et al. (1977) hypothesised the existence of separate non-thermal pathways, and this was further developed by lwase et al (1997). Their hypothetical model, in addition to assigning thermal seating to the non-glabrous (hairy) sites and psychological sweating to glabrous skin surfaces, proposed the existence of inhibitory affects of thermal loading upon psychological sweating, and of psychological stress upon thermal sweating. Two recently completed projects were designed to test the underlying assumptioins of this model, and this research is summarised below.