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Chapter 12: Homeostasis

Students should be able to:

1. Define homeostasis.
2. Identify and name the hairs, sweat glands and blood vessels of the
3. Describe the maintenance of a constant body temperature in Man
(a) Temperature receptors in the skin.
(b) Sweating and shivering.
(c) Blood vessels near the skin.
(d) Coordinating role of the brain.
4. State the nervous system – brain, spinal cord and nerves.
5. Describe how the 3 parts of the nervous system serve to
coordinate/regulate bodily functions.

12.1 Homeostasis

12.1.1 Definition
• Maintenance of a constant internal environment (steady state) in
the mammalian body
• Derived from Greek: (homoio = same, stasis= standstill)

12.1.2 Negative feedback control

• External Environment Temperature
o As external temperature changes  body internal temp ____
o When in hot sun, our body tends to get _______
o When in the cold, our body tends to get ________
• Mammalians
o So-called “warm-blooded” because…
o Can maintain a _________ body temperature

• Analogy with air-conditioning systems

o When we first switch on the air-con, the fans will turn at its
maximum speed, cooling the place ________
o However, as the temperature reaches its programmed level,
the thermostat causes fans to automatically _____ its speed
o When temp reaches its programmed level, the fans ______
o When temp starts to increase as more people fill the room,
the fans will start to _______ ___ again
o A similar “system” is present in the body of mammals 
such systems work under the “Negative Feedback Control”

12.2 The Mammalian Skin

12.2.1 Structure

12.3 Functions of the components of the Mammalian Skin

12.3.1 Temperature Receptors in the Skin

• Nerve endings found in epidermis & the dermis
• Form receptors
o Function: Sense pain, pressure or temperature changes in
the external environment
o For example: Touch receptors gives us a sensation of pain
• Temperature Receptors: Gives us a sensation of temperature
changes in the surroundings

12.3.2 Sweating & Shivering

Arterioles in the skin Arterioles in the skin constrict

dilate (becomes wider) (becomes smaller)
More blood flow Less blood flow
through skin through skin
Sweat glands become active Sweat glands become less active
 produce more sweat  produce less / no sweat
More sweat evaporates from the Metabolic process of body speed
skin surface  remove latent heat up  more heat is produced
Breathing becomes more rapid  Hair erector muscles contracts  still air
help remove heat trapped between hairs (goose pimples)
Body muscles contract 
Metabolic process of body slows
down  less heat is produced
Increase heat Help raise body temp
production to normal
12.3.3 Blood Vessels near the skin
Vasoconstriction Vasodilation

12.3.4 Coordinating Role of the brain