Selective brain cooling is affected by wearing headgear during exercise

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1993 Mar;74(3):1229-33. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1993.74.3.1229.


The purpose of this work is to relate the concept of selective brain cooling (SBC) during exercise to heat loss from the head while either bare or covered. During hyperthermia, SBC is considered to occur if tympanic temperature (Tty) is lower than esophageal temperature (Tes). In experiment I the head heat loss was measured with and without headgear. Each of four subjects took part in three sessions of exercise on a cycle ergometer. The face was cooled to simulate outdoor conditions. The first session (no headgear) served as control for the two following sessions in which a headband and a woolen cap were worn. Evaporative and radiative-convective heat loss were monitored from the head. Wearing a cap significantly reduced the heat loss from the head compared with the control condition. During the headband session the heat loss was not significantly lower than the control values. Tty, Tes, and head skin temperatures (T(sk)) were also recorded. Tty was significantly lower (-0.55 +/- 0.15 degrees C) than Tes at the end of exercise (150-W exercise load) when no headgear was worn. During headgear sessions, Tty was no longer significantly lower than Tes, either during the headband (-0.15 +/- 0.31 degrees C) or during the cap session (-0.30 +/- 0.13 degrees C). In experiment II the influence of wearing headgear on temperature regulation was studied. Hand skin blood flow, hand T(sk), and heat loss from the hand were recorded in addition to the variables monitored in experiment I. Wearing headgear elevated Tty and peripheral vasomotor responses, whereas Tes evolved in the opposite direction.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Clothing*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Hand / blood supply
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Skin Temperature / physiology