A common misconception about humans and temperature is that our thermal experiences are dictated by our core temperature only.
This oversimplified model not only remains ubiquitous amongst the general population, but also continues to dictate the operation of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) in buildings to this day.
In reality, there is far more to our thermal experiences than our core temperature. We know from daily experience that local, transient temperature sensations also have a strong impact on our well-being. For example, we are all familiar with the comfort provided by a warm mug of tea, the relaxing benefits of a trip to a spa, or the energizing effects of a splash of cold water on the face.
In the last decade, the scientific field of neurophysiology has made great progress in making sense of our daily experience by elucidating how thermal sensation affects our thermal comfort, physiology, and emotions.
The findings have been astounding. In particular, recent studies have uncovered specific ways in which local temperature sensations can affect our decision-making, improve our whole-body comfort, influence our experience of social emotions, and influence the balance of our autonomic nervous system (ANS).
To learn more, feel free to check out our research page on our website.
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