Monday, 23 January 2012

2.77b Thermoregulation

Understand that homeostasis is the maintenance of a constant internal environment and that body water content and body temperature are both examples of homeostasis.

Negative Feedback lop is the control of constant conditions.
The receptor of our body is called the hypothalamus which is in the brain. It responds to a stimulus which in this case, is the temperature of the blood. Our bodies tries to maintain the body temperature to around 37-38 C. So body temperature is fed back into the brain and if the body temperature needs to be increased and decreased the changes will be made by the effectors such as our skin. The response would be an increase or decrease of body temperature and this will be fed back to the loop.

In our skin we have sweat glands but also the capillary network which allows blood to be closer or further away from the skin.

If the body temperature increases, the hypothalamus will bring around cooling effect with responses such as:
  • Sweating 
  • Increase blood flow and dilate which increases the exchange of heat to the outside with the process such as radiation and evaporation of sweat 

In a cold environment, our body temperature will fall which brings about regulation to increase body temperature:
  • Shivering 
  • Vasoconstriction 
  • Hairs raised

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