Influence of ambient and core temperatures on auditory canal temperature

L. F. Morgans, S. A. Nunneley, R. F. Stribley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Ear canal temperature (T(ac)) is a useful indicator of human body temperature under some laboratory conditions. T(ac) has also been used in field studies, but problems arise there due to its susceptibility to external influences such as wind. Experiments on five resting subjects in an environmental chamber showed that 1) compared to a warm environment (35°C), a cool one (22°C) produced significant lowering of both T(ac) and rectal temperature (T(re)), 2) the cool condition increased the difference between T(re) and T(ac), and 3) head treatment (helmet wear, wind) significantly affected T(ac). In a second series of experiments, six subjects exposed to the same conditions performed mild exercise to abolish the progressive decline in T(re) seen at 22°C. Results showed that T(ac) still reflected external temperature and continued to show the influence of head treatment. Conclusion: T(ac) has only limited usefulness in aircrew studies or other field work unless subjects can wear a protective helmet throughout the period of data collection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-293
Number of pages3
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of ambient and core temperatures on auditory canal temperature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this