Regional brain responses associated with thermogenic and psychogenic sweating events in humans

Michael J Farrell, David Trevaks, Nigel A S Taylor, Robin M McAllen

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Sweating events occur in response to mental stress (psychogenic) or with increased body temperature (thermogenic). We previously found that both were linked to activation of common brainstem regions, suggesting that they share the same output pathways: a putative common premotor nucleus was identified in the rostral-lateral medulla. We therefore looked in the cerebral hemispheres for the neural basis that differentiates the two types of sweating. Previous work has identified hemispheric activations linked to psychogenic sweating, but no corresponding data have been reported for thermogenic sweating. Galvanic skin responses were used to measure sweating events in two groups of subjects during either psychogenic sweating (n=11, 35.3+/-11.8 years) or thermogenic sweating (n=11, 34.4+/-10.2 years) while regional brain activation was measured by BOLD signals in a 3Tesla MRI scanner. Common regions activated in both groups included the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex, insula, premotor cortex, thalamus, lentiform nuclei and cerebellum (Pcorrected
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2578 - 2587
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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