Principles of Anatomy and Physiology by G. Tortora, B. Derrickson

By G. Tortora, B. Derrickson

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By G. Tortora, B. Derrickson

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A feedback system or feedback loop is a cycle of events in which the status of a body condition is monitored, evaluated, changed, remonitored, reevaluated, and so on. Each monitored variable, such as body temperature, blood pressure, or blood glucose level, is termed a controlled condition. Any disruption that changes a controlled condition is called a stimulus. 2). 1. A receptor is a body structure that monitors changes in a controlled condition and sends input to a control center. This pathway is called an afferent pathway (AF-er-ent; af- ϭ toward; -ferrent ϭ carried), since the information flows toward the control center.

In most cases the disruption of homeostasis is mild and temporary, and the responses of body cells quickly restore balance in the internal environment. However, in some cases the disruption of homeostasis may be intense and prolonged, as in poisoning, overexposure to temperature extremes, severe infection, or major surgery. Fortunately, the body has many regulating systems that can usually bring the internal environment back into balance. Most often, the nervous system and the endocrine system, working together or independently, provide the needed corrective measures.

Qxd 10 7/1/10 5:36 AM Page 10 CHAPTER 1 • AN INTRODUCTION TO THE HUMAN BODY (output) to your skeletal muscles (effectors). The result is shivering, which generates heat and raises your body temperature. A group of receptors and effectors communicating with their control center forms a feedback system that can regulate a controlled condition in the body’s internal environment. In a feedback system, the response of the system “feeds back” information to change the controlled condition in some way, either negating it (negative feedback) or enhancing it (positive feedback).

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