Maintaining Temperature Balance

Temperature Regulation Feedback Loops

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Content Contributors
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Ben Whitten

Learning Objectives

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What is the feedback loop for low body temperature?
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When your body temperature is too low, both nervous and hormonal control assist in increasing temperature.


  • Nervous (cerebral cortex) – change in behaviour such as putting clothes on, turning a heater on, increasing physical activity, and decreasing SA:VOL ratio

  • Nervous (autonomic/sympathetic) – vasoconstriction blood arterioles in the skin and shivering

  • Hormonal – hypothalamus produces more thyroid stimulating hormone releasing factor (TSHRF), this causes the anterior pituitary to release more thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), this causes the thyroid to release more thyroxine which in turn increases metabolism, and increases heat production

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What is the feedback loop for high body temperature?
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When your body temperature is too high, both nervous and hormonal control helps to decrease temperature.


  • Nervous (cerebral cortex) – change in behaviour such as taking off clothes, turning air conditioning on, decreasing physical activity, and increasing SA:VOL ratio

  • Nervous (autonomic) – vasodilation of blood arterioles in the skin and sweating

  • Hormonal – hypothalamus produces less thyroid stimulating hormone releasing factor (TSHRF) – this causes the anterior pituitary to release less thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) – this causes the thyroid to release less thyroxine which in turn decreases metabolism, decreasing heat production

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Introduction to Temperature Regulation
Heat Gain and Heat Loss
Mechanisms of Temperature Regulation
Temperature Regulation Feedback Loops
Mechanisms of Heat Transfer
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