Online College Courses for Credit

+
Homeostasis
Next Generation: HS.LS1.3 NGSS

Homeostasis

Author: Sophia Tutorial
Description:

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

(more)
See More
Fast, Free College Credit

Developing Effective Teams

Let's Ride
*No strings attached. This college course is 100% free and is worth 1 semester credit.

29 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

312 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 27 of Sophia’s online courses. Many different colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.

Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to this lesson 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

Homeostasis is 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, et cetera, all need to be maintained. If there's some sort of change in this extracellular fluid, your body will try to reverse that change in order to maintain homeostasis.

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

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


2. Sensors, Integrators, & Effectors

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 found throughout our body that sense a stimulus or change. The eye is a visual for this, but you actually have 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 types of cells will all work together in order to maintain homeostasis. Sensory receptors will detect some sort of stimulus or change within your body. That information will then be sent to the integrator, which is your brain. Your brain will gather that information and process it, and then determine the appropriate response necessary 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 detects changes in temperature. Let's say those thermoreceptors determine that it is too cold, and your body temperature starts to drop. Your brain will then receive the information that your body temperature is dropping, because cells have to be in certain conditions in order to function optimally. If the temperature is 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, a shiver is one thing that your brain might determine is an appropriate response. That information will then be sent to your muscle cells, and you will begin to shiver, which produces body heat.

3. Negative & Positive Feedback

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 for maintaining homeostasis. Positive feedback does occur in your body, but it doesn't have a large role in homeostasis.

If you're interested in 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

This lesson has been an overview of homeostasis. You learned more about the details of how sensors, integrators, and effectors work together to maintain homeostasis. You also learned that negative and 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
Effectors

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

Homeostasis

The maintenance of  a constant internal environment.

Integrator

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

Negative Feedback

A feedback mechanism that maintains homeostasis by reversing the change.

Sensory Receptors

Receptors located throughout your body that detect a stimulus.

​Positive Feedback

A feedback mechanism that intensifies a detected change.