Body temperature regulation (thermoregulation)


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Body temperature regulation (thermoregulation)

Nervous system

Anatomy and physiology

Nervous system anatomy and physiology

Neuron action potential

Cerebral circulation

Blood brain barrier

Cerebrospinal fluid

Cranial nerves

Ascending and descending spinal tracts

Somatic nervous system

Motor cortex

Pyramidal and extrapyramidal tracts

Muscle spindles and golgi tendon organs

Spinal cord reflexes

Sensory receptor function

Somatosensory receptors

Somatosensory pathways

Autonomic nervous system

Sympathetic nervous system

Adrenergic receptors

Parasympathetic nervous system

Cholinergic receptors

Enteric nervous system


Body temperature regulation (thermoregulation)

Hunger and satiety



Basal ganglia

Basal ganglia: Direct and indirect pathway of movement

Higher order brain functions










Body temperature regulation (thermoregulation)


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High Yield Notes

3 pages


Body temperature regulation (thermoregulation)

of complete



Samantha McBundy, MFA, CMI

Kaia Chessen, MScBMC

Rachel Yancey

Body temperature regulation, also known as thermoregulation, is how an organism keeps its body temperature within certain limits.

For humans, the normal body temperature ranges between 36.1°C, or 97 °F, and 37°C, or 98.6°F.

When body temperature increases above 38.5° C, or 101.3°F, that’s called hyperthermia.

The opposite condition, when body temperature decreases below 35 °C, or 95 °F, is known as hypothermia.

Thermoregulation is needed in response to internal and external temperature variations.

Internal temperature variations are sensed by specialized nerve cells, called thermoreceptors, located in the anterior hypothalamus.

Now, the hypothalamus works as a thermostat.

The front part or the anterior hypothalamus responds to increased environmental temperatures and it also controls the core temperature of the body.

The back part or the posterior hypothalamus, on the other hand, responds to decreased environmental temperatures.

Changes in the external temperature are sensed by the skin thermoreceptors, which are specialized nerve cells located in the skin.

For example, during winter, when the environmental temperature is less than the body temperature, the skin receptors sense these variations and send the information to the anterior hypothalamus which will then inform the posterior hypothalamus that the body has to generate heat.

Now, besides the behavioral habits, such as putting more clothes on or drinking hot tea, there are several other physiologic mechanisms through which heat production is increased.

First, thyroid hormone action is stimulated.


Thermoregulation is the process by which an organism maintains its internal body temperature within a certain range, despite changes in external conditions. For the human body, it ranges between 36.5 �C to 37.5 �C. The main purpose of thermoregulation is to keep the enzyme systems of the body working properly. The part of the brain responsible for thermoregulation is called the hypothalamus. It receives information about the temperature status from some specialized nerve cells called thermoreceptors.


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