Human thermal sensation: frequency response to sinusoidal stimuli at the surface of the skin

J. W. Ring*, Richard de Dear, Arsen Melikov

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)


    The question of how the human organism perceives changing thermal stimuli has been recently studied and reported in experiments where these stimuli were either ramps and plateaux or simply step changes. Other experiments have been done in which the stimuli have been periodically varying airflows. A psychosensory intensity (PSI) model has been developed to relate experimentally derived sensation data to simulated cutaneous thermoreceptor responses to the temperature ramp-plateaux and step stimuli applied to the skin surface by thermodes. From the point of view of signal processing, a natural extension of this approach is to ask what the response would be to sinusoidally varying stimuli of differing frequencies, or, in other words, what would be the frequency response of this skin system? The purpose of this paper is to extend the PSI model and apply these sinusoids to it and hence find the frequency response function. This function is then compared with the functional form found in two experiments where the stimuli were pulsating airflows of differing frequency. The PSI model seems to simulate well the form of the response of the human skin system to varying temperature changes of a whole range of frequencies as well as the response to ramps and plateaux of differing periods, ramp inclines and intensities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)159-165
    Number of pages7
    JournalEnergy and Buildings
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1993


    Dive into the research topics of 'Human thermal sensation: frequency response to sinusoidal stimuli at the surface of the skin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this