Thermoregulation

Ways in which the body can stop overheating are:

  • Vasodilation - where blood vessels allow blood to flow to skin surface where heat is lost.
  • Increased sweat rate - heat is lost through turning sweat into vapour, which lowers body temperature.
  • Decrease in metabolic rate - a lower metabolic rate produces less heat

Ways in which the body can increase temperature are:

  • Vasoconstriction - blood vessels are restricted and blood flow to skin stops so less heat is lost.
  • Hair erector muscles contract - hairs stand on end and trap an insulating layer of warmer air next to the skin.
  • Shivering - skeletal muscles around the body repeatedly contract and this muscle activity generates heat.

Negative feedback control is the mechanism used to control the temperature of the body.

Negative feedback
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