The purpose of this study was to investigate ethnic differences in cutaneous thermal sensation thresholds and the inter-threshold sensory zone between tropical (Malaysians) and temperate natives (Japanese). The results showed that (1) Malaysian males perceived warmth on the forehead at a higher skin temperature (Tsk) than Japanese males (p<0.05), whereas cool sensations on the hand and foot were perceived at a lower Tsk in Malaysians (p<0.05); (2) Overall, the sensitivity to detect warmth was greater in Japanese than in Malaysian males; (3) The most thermally sensitive body region of Japanese was the forehead for both warming and cooling, while the regional thermal sensitivity of Malaysians had a smaller differential than that of Japanese; (4) The ethnic difference in the inter-threshold sensory zone was particularly noticeable on the forehead (1.9±1.2C for Japanese, 3.2±1.6°C for Malaysians, p<0.05). In conclusion, tropical natives had a tendency to perceive warmth at a higher Tsk and slower at an identical speed of warming, and had a wider range of the inter-threshold sensory zone than temperate natives.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Developmental Biology