Title: Evaluation of the human cognitive performance and physiological responses in different thermal situations: a simulated study in controlled climatic room

Authors: Hamidreza Heidari; Ahmad Soltanzadeh; Mohsen Mahdinia; Abolfazl Mohammadbeigi; Zahra Jafari; Matin Roshan

Addresses: Department of Occupational Health and Safety Engineering, Research Center for Environmental Pollutants, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran ' Department of Occupational Health and Safety Engineering, Research Center for Environmental Pollutants, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran ' Department of Occupational Health and Safety Engineering, Research Center for Environmental Pollutants, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran ' Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Faculty of Health, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran ' Faculty of Health, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran ' Faculty of Health, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran

Abstract: This work aimed to investigate the effects of heat discomfort on some cognitive functions and physiological responses. Twenty-one healthy females were exposed to different level of thermal discomfort in a simulated climatic room for 90 minutes. Physiological responses (heart rate, tympanic temperature and mean skin temperature) as well as cognitive functions of the participants were recorded. Our findings showed that both of the tympanic temperature and mean skin temperature were changed significantly in different comfort situations (p < 0.05). In addition, in both of the focused and dispersed attention, the reaction time was the only parameter that increased significantly with worsening thermal conditions (p < 0.05), however, the relation was based on a nonlinear rule. The mean and standard deviation of response time as criteria of cognitive function for comfort, moderately comfort and discomfort were 435.71 ± 36.94 ms, 388 ± 31.18 ms and 485.71 ± 145.04 ms, respectively.

Keywords: thermal discomfort; cognitive; performance; working memory; physiological responses.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHFE.2021.10041506

International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 2022 Vol.9 No.1, pp.32 - 46

Received: 08 Feb 2021
Accepted: 23 Jun 2021

Published online: 17 Jan 2022 *

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