In discussions of control systems, the words "regulation" and "regulate" have meanings distinct from those of the word "control" (see Chapter 1). The variable that a control system acts to maintain within narrow limits (e.g., temperature) is called the regulated variable, and the quantities it controls to accomplish this (e.g., sweating rate, skin blood flow, metabolic rate, and thermoregulatory behavior) are called controlled variables.
through the use of shelter, space heating, air conditioning, and clothing—enables humans to live in the most extreme climates in the world, but it does not provide fine control of body heat balance. In contrast, physiological thermoregulation is capable of fairly precise adjustments of heat balance but is effective only within a relatively narrow range of environmental temperatures.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.