Role of dehydration in heat stress-induced variations in mental performance

Arch Environ Health. 1988 Jan-Feb;43(1):15-7. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1988.9934367.


Variation in mental performance under different levels of heat stress-induced dehydration was recorded in 11 subjects heat acclimatized to the tropicals. Dehydration was induced by a combination of water restriction and exercise in heat. The psychological functions--arithmetic ability, short-term memory, and visuomotor tracking--were assessed in a thermoneutral room after the subjects recovered fully from the effects of exercise in heat, as reflected by their oral temperature and heart rate. The results indicated significant deterioration in mental functions at 2% or more body dehydration levels.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dehydration / etiology
  • Dehydration / physiopathology*
  • Hot Temperature / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Mental Processes*
  • Stress, Physiological / complications*
  • Trail Making Test