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The feeling of cold.

  1. Dec 1, 2005 #1
    Where does the feeling of cold come from? Is it from heat rushing past cells, when we step outside in the cold, that creates this feeling we signal as cold?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 1, 2005 #2
    Coldness is the absense of heat and the difference between your body heat and the temperature around your body. The sensation comes from the feeling of heat leaving our body at a faster than comfortable rate. This can be an isolated or global feeling. So if you touch an ice cube it feels cold because the ice cube is drawing heat away from your hand and into the ice cube until it melts and creates an equilibrium between the temp of your hand and the ice cube. This is a laymans explanation.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2005
  4. Dec 2, 2005 #3
    An endothermic reaction. So I was sort of correct with my explanation, the feeling of heat rushing past the cells and leaving the body.
  5. Dec 2, 2005 #4


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    Your body has to work harder to maintain its constant internal temperature when the environmental temperature is lower, even when there is no wind to rush past. So your nerves have evolved to be sensitive to temperature differences.

    When it's hot with a wind and you sweat, the sweat evaporates, and by basic physics that cools your skin, and the nerves there sense that.
  6. Dec 2, 2005 #5
    I would like to suggest that a "sense of temperature" is in fact a fundamental human sense, such as sight, taste, smell, etc. I would welcome other thoughts on this.
  7. Dec 3, 2005 #6


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    You're right Rade,
    The feeling of heat/cold doesn't exist without a system in our body.
    They are speaking about physics but there is effectivelly a transition of the physical event (cold) to a neuron firing carried by Alpha D fibres in human. Warmth is carried by C fibres.
  8. Dec 3, 2005 #7


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    I remember something about coagulating proteins that cause certain nerves to fire??
  9. Dec 3, 2005 #8


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