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Thermoregulatory Modeling for Cold Stress

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Modeling for cold stress has generated a rich history of innovation, has exerted a catalytic influence on cold physiology research, and continues to impact human activity in cold environments. This overview begins with a brief summation of cold thermoregulatory model development followed by key principles that will continue to guide current and future model development. Different representations of the human body are discussed relative to the level of detail and prediction accuracy required. In addition to predictions of shivering and vasomotor responses to cold exposure, algorithms are presented for thermoregulatory mechanisms. Various avenues of heat exchange between the human body and a cold environment are reviewed. Applications of cold thermoregulatory modeling range from investigative interpretation of physiological observations to forecasting skin freezing times and hypothermia survival times. While these advances have been remarkable, the future of cold stress modeling is still faced with significant challenges that are summarized at the end of this overview. Published 2014. Compr Physiol 4:1057‐1081, 2014.

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Figure 1. Figure 1. A schematic diagram showing the geometric arrangement of the elements and the circulatory system of the Wissler model. The body was divided into 15 geometric regions, representing the head, the thorax, the abdomen, and the proximal, medial, and distal segments of the arms and legs. Reproduced from (), with permission.
Figure 2. Figure 2. Simple feedback control system with a set point as a reference.
Figure 3. Figure 3. Simplified block diagram of thermoregulation of resting, nude humans totally immersed in cold water. Reproduced from (), with permission.
Figure 4. Figure 4. Left: Normalized CVC plotted as a function of mean Ts with a reference temperature of 34.5°C. Right: Normalized CVC plotted as function of local Ts with a reference temperature of 34.0°C. Adapted from (), with permission.
Figure 5. Figure 5. Time in minutes until the occurrence of cheek frostbite in the most susceptible 5% of military personnel. Adapted from (), with permission.

Figure 1. A schematic diagram showing the geometric arrangement of the elements and the circulatory system of the Wissler model. The body was divided into 15 geometric regions, representing the head, the thorax, the abdomen, and the proximal, medial, and distal segments of the arms and legs. Reproduced from (), with permission.

Figure 2. Simple feedback control system with a set point as a reference.

Figure 3. Simplified block diagram of thermoregulation of resting, nude humans totally immersed in cold water. Reproduced from (), with permission.

Figure 4. Left: Normalized CVC plotted as a function of mean Ts with a reference temperature of 34.5°C. Right: Normalized CVC plotted as function of local Ts with a reference temperature of 34.0°C. Adapted from (), with permission.

Figure 5. Time in minutes until the occurrence of cheek frostbite in the most susceptible 5% of military personnel. Adapted from (), with permission.
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Xiaojiang Xu, Peter Tikuisis. Thermoregulatory Modeling for Cold Stress. Compr Physiol 2014, 4: 1057-1081. doi: 10.1002/cphy.c130047