Biological regulation

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Under biological control refers to the control mechanisms within an organism .

The organism is constantly subject to influences ( stimuli ) from outside and also from within, which can disrupt important body functions. These effects are generally referred to as disturbance variables: They cause certain controlled variables (e.g. ion concentration in the blood, muscle lengths, body temperature , etc.) to deviate upwards or downwards from their setpoint (the 'normal value'). The organism then tries to compensate for such deviations through regulation. It monitors the controlled variables with the help of sensors (sensors, receptors ). The measurement result, the actual value, is transmitted via nerve excitations (relatively quickly) or via the bloodstream (much slower) to central coordination points, the control centers. The actual value and setpoint are compared there. If there is a difference, the control center causes - again via nerves - or blood vessels - that the activity of suitable effectors (muscles, glands) is changed in such a way that the actual value of the controlled variable is returned to the setpoint. The totality of the effectors used is also referred to as an interlocking.

The entire control system, the so-called control loop , can be controlled by higher-level structures, e.g. B. the brain , can be adapted to changing living conditions of the entire organism by adjusting the setpoint. Often several control loops have common sensors or effectors, so that the control processes can often overlap. Because of this meshing or networking, a compromise often has to be found between the control systems involved so that the control performance for the entire organism can be optimized.


  • Physiology and pathophysiology (worksheets for teaching at the school for medical and technical laboratory assistants at the Münster University Hospital) by Berges