Psychological sweating from glabrous and nonglabrous skin surfaces under thermoneutral conditions



Publication Details

Machado-Moreira, C. & Taylor, N. A.S. 2012, 'Psychological sweating from glabrous and nonglabrous skin surfaces under thermoneutral conditions', Psychophysiology: an international journal, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 369-374.


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 26o C) 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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