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ERIC Number: EJ1084603
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1043-4046
EISSN: N/A
A Physiologist's View of Homeostasis
Modell, Harold; Cliff, William; Michael, Joel; McFarland, Jenny; Wenderoth, Mary Pat; Wright, Ann
Advances in Physiology Education, v39 n4 p259-266 Dec 2015
Homeostasis is a core concept necessary for understanding the many regulatory mechanisms in physiology. Claude Bernard originally proposed the concept of the constancy of the "milieu interieur," but his discussion was rather abstract. Walter Cannon introduced the term "homeostasis" and expanded Bernard's notion of "constancy" of the internal environment in an explicit and concrete way. In the 1960s, homeostatic regulatory mechanisms in physiology began to be described as discrete processes following the application of engineering control system analysis to physiological systems. Unfortunately, many undergraduate texts continue to highlight abstract aspects of the concept rather than emphasizing a general model that can be specifically and comprehensively applied to all homeostatic mechanisms. As a result, students and instructors alike often fail to develop a clear, concise model with which to think about such systems. In this article, we present a standard model for homeostatic mechanisms to be used at the undergraduate level. We discuss common sources of confusion ("sticky points") that arise from inconsistencies in vocabulary and illustrations found in popular undergraduate texts. Finally, we propose a simplified model and vocabulary set for helping undergraduate students build effective mental models of homeostatic regulation in physiological systems.
American Physiological Society. 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3991. Tel: 301-634-7164; Fax: 301-634-7241; e-mail: webmaster@the-aps.org; Web site: http://advan.physiology.org/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DUE1043443