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?2009). No participants experienced any pain or discomfort during the local heating protocol. The SkBF data (in arbitrary units, a.u.) were divided by mean arterial pressure (in millimetres of mercury) to calculate cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC). The CVC data were expressed as raw values and as a percentage of maximal vasodilatation (%CVCmax) recorded during local heating to 44��C. Owing to the rapid and transient nature of the initial peak and nadir responses, stable 30 s periods of SkBF were used for analysis. For the secondary plateau and maximal SkBF phases, stable 2 min periods of SkBF were used for analysis. To quantify the relative contribution of sensory nerves to the vasodilator responses observed in each group, we compared untreated sites with EMLA-treated sites in each group (Strom?et al.?2010). The sensory nerve contribution (i.e. sensory nerve-mediated vasodilatation) was assessed by subtracting the CVC at EMLA-treated sites from that at untreated sites during the initial peak of the vasodilator response to local heating (Strom?et al.?2010). Differences among groups were assessed using two-way mixed-model ANOVA. Where significant interaction effects were observed, Tukey's?post hoc?analyses were used to identify significant differences in the pairwise comparisons. Statistical significance was set at?P? and achieved according to standard criteria (Howley?et al.?1995). As shown in Table 1, was highest in the young trained group and lowest in the older untrained group. The was not different between the young untrained and older trained groups (P?> 0.05). Resting heart rate was lower in the older trained compared with the young untrained group (P? 0.05; Table 1). Rapid local heating resulted in the characteristic biphasic SkBF response previously described (Minson?et al.?2001), i.e. an initial increase and peak at the onset of heating, a brief nadir, and then a slower rise and plateau. This pattern was seen in all participants in each group at both untreated control and EMLA-treated sites. Figure 1 illustrates the CVC responses, normalized to maximum, during the local heating protocol at the control and EMLA-treated sites for one representative participant from each of the four groups. Tables 2 and 3 show normalized and raw CVC data, respectively, for all groups and phases of the local heating protocol. Baseline CVC did not differ between the groups at the control or EMLA-treated sites (P?> 0.05; Table 2). Sensory nerve blockade did not alter baseline CVC (P?> 0.05). Figure 2 shows CVC data, normalized to maximum, for the initial peak in all groups at the control and EMLA-treated sites. At control sites, the initial peak in the older untrained group was lower than in both young groups (P?