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Homeostasis
Next Generation: HS.LS1.3 NGSS

Homeostasis

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Description:

This lesson will examine various homeostatic controls that allow the body to maintain a constant internal environment.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to this lesson today on homeostasis. Today you will be learning about how homeostasis allows your body to maintain a constant internal environment.

  1. Homeostasis
  2. Sensors, Integrators, & Effectors
  3. Negative & Positive Feedback

1. Homeostasis

So homeostasis is basically the maintenance of a constant internal environment.

Term to Know

    • Homeostasis
    • The maintenance of a constant internal environment.

This constant internal environment is maintained in several ways.

Changes in your extracellular fluids, which are the fluids outside of your cells, need to be stabilized so cells can function properly. Cells function best when they're in a certain type of environment, so the pH, the concentration of solutes, the temperature, etc, all need to be maintained fairly stable. If there's some sort of change in this extracellular fluid, your body will act to try and reverse that change to try to maintain homeostasis.

Homeostasis maintains the makeup and volume of extracellular fluids and cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems all function together in order to try and maintain homeostasis.

Within our body we have sensors, integrators, and effectors that will interact together to help maintain homeostasis.


2. Sensors, Integrators, & Effectors

So take a look at an example of sensors, integrators and effectors below.

Terms to Know

    • Sensory Receptors
    • Receptors located throughout your body that detect a stimulus.
    • Integrator
    • Your brain is the integrator that senses a stimulus and determines an appropriate response.
    • Effectors
    • Muscles or glands that carry out the response designated by the integrator.

Sensors: Sensors or sensory receptors are cells that sense a stimulus or a change and they're found throughout our body. The eye is a visual for this, but you actually have various different types of sensory receptors all throughout your body that detect changes or detect a stimulus.

Integrators: The brain is the main integrator in our body.

Effectors: Effectors are either muscle or gland cells.

These will all work together in order to maintain homeostasis, so sensory receptors in your body will detect some sort of stimulus or some sort of change within your body. That information will then be sent to the integrator, which is your brain and your brain will gather that information and process it and then it will determine an appropriate response that needs to occur for homeostasis to be maintained. Whatever response it decides is appropriate, it will send that information to your effectors, which are your gland or muscle cells, to carry out that response to maintain homeostasis.

IN CONTEXT
Throughout your skin you have thermoreceptors, which are a type of sensory receptor that detect changes in temperature. Let's say those thermoreceptors throughout your skin determine that it is too cold and your body temperature starts to drop, your brain will then receive that information that your body temperature is dropping, because in order for cells to function optimally they have to be in certain conditions. If the temperature's too low, your body and your organs are not going to function as well as they would otherwise. Your brain will then determine an appropriate response in order to help maintain your internal body temperature. If you're too cold, one of the things that your brain might determine is an appropriate response is that you will shiver.That information will then be sent to your muscle cells and you will begin to shiver, which produces body heat.

3. Negative & Positive Feedback

So negative and positive feedback are two mechanisms of control.

Terms to Know

    • Negative Feedback
    • A feedback mechanism that maintains homeostasis by reversing the change.
    • Positive Feedback
    • A feedback mechanism that intensifies a detected change.

These are two ways that homeostasis is maintained. Negative feedback is one of the main mechanisms of maintaining homeostasis. Positive feedback does occur in your body, but it doesn't have a massive role in homeostasis.

If you're more interested about that, you can do a little bit more research on what positive and negative feedback are. But for this lesson you just need to know that they're both mechanisms of control in order to help maintain homeostasis.


Summary

So this lesson has been an overview on homeostasis. You learned more about the details of how sensors, integrators, & effectors work together to maintain homeostasis. You also learned that negative & positive feedback are both mechanisms of control to help maintain homeostasis.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

TERMS TO KNOW
  • ​Positive Feedback

    A feedback mechanism that intensifies a detected change.

  • Negative Feedback

    A feedback mechanism that maintains homeostasis by reversing the change.

  • Effectors

    Muscles or glands that carry out the response designated by the integrator.

  • Integrator

    Your brain is the integrator that senses a stimulus and determines an appropriate response.

  • Sensory Receptors

    Receptors located throughout your body that detect a stimulus.

  • Homeostasis

    The maintenance of  a constant internal environment.