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What is physiology?

Study of mechanical, physical, and biomechanical aspects of living function (in organisms)


An animals ability to function as an automaton is a behavior known as ________.



Define homeostasis.

The maintenance of conditions within the body; a dynamically balanced state of self-recognition.


What is the most common type of control system utilized in organisms?

Negative feedback


What is the function of the "sensor" in a negative feedback system?

To compare the output of the system against a specific set-point, then make adjustments (neg. feedback) to the system accordingly.


How does an organism act as a controlled or output system?

It responds to disturbances in output via negative feedback.


Why do organisms function more like a "proportional system" as opposed to an "on/off system?"

Homeostasis in organisms exhibit an oscillatory (hunting) behavior in their output signal.


The degree of effectiveness of the control is a function of _____.

Gain: (FEEDBACK GAIN = correction/remaining error)


What does the gain function of homeostasis measure?

Potency or power to correct a disturbance; correct the deviation from ideal (homeostatic stability).


A control system that responds in a "positive" direction to deviation from the normal set point is called:

Positive Feedback


How often does Jake sleep during Friday lectures?

10-15 min per lecture


Does positive feedback tend to lead towards stability or instability?



During labor, pressure on the cervix from a the head of baby causes the cervix to stretch. Stretch receptors are stimulated, triggering the hypothalamus to secrete oxytocin, which feeds back to the uterus to cause contraction. Contraction stretches the cervix further; the cycle continues. What type of control system is this?

Positive feedback


When your body gets cold, you begin to shiver. What type of feedback system might this be?

Negative feedback: deviation from a normal internal body temperature initiates muscle contractions, which produce heat.