Published:  2021-12

Effect of Exposure Time on Thermal Behaviour: A Psychophysiological Approach

Authors:  Bilge Kobas, Sebastian Clark Koth, Kizito Nkurikiyeyezu, Giorgos Giannakakis, Thomas Auer

Tags:  Thermal comfort, biosignals, electrodermal activity, thermal behaviour, thermal health

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This paper presents the findings of a 6-week long, five-participant experiment in a controlled climate chamber. The experiment was designed to understand the effect of time on thermal behaviour, electrodermal activity (EDA) and the adaptive behavior of occupants in response to a thermal non-uniform indoor environment were continuously logged. The results of the 150 h-long longitudinal study suggested a significant difference in tonic EDA levels between “morning” and “afternoon” clusters although the environmental parameters were the same, suggesting a change in the human body’s thermal reception over time. The correlation of the EDA and temperature was greater for the afternoon cluster (r = 0.449, p < 0.001) in relation to the morning cluster (r = 0.332, p < 0.001). These findings showed a strong temporal dependency of the skin conductance level of the EDA to the operative temperature, following the person’s circadian rhythm. Even further, based on the person’s chronotype, the beginning of the “afternoon” cluster was observed to have shifted according to the person’s circadian rhythm. Furthermore, the study is able to show how the body reacts differently under the same PMV values, both within and between subjects; pointing to the lack of temporal parameter in the PMV model.