Neuronal control

Neuronal control

The graphic of the neuronal control of temperature regulation is divided into two parts: the reaction of the body to cold situations at the left and the adjustment to warm situations at the right.

Reaction to cold:

When cold sensors (cold receptors) measure a decrease in temperature, they will increase the frequency of action potentials transmitting to the hypothalamus (the heat sensors become silent). The coordinating centre in the anterior hypothalamus notifies that the body temperature has dropped in comparison to the thermostat set point. The anterior hypothalamus will then send information to the posterior centres in order to activate the heat-gain processes. The posterior hypothalamus regulates heat gain by 3 main pathways.

Reaction to heat:

When heat sensors (warm receptors) measure an increase in temperature, they will increase the frequency of action potentials transmitting to the hypothalamus (the cold sensors become silent). The coordinating centre in the posterior hypothalamus notifies that the body temperature has increased in comparison to the thermostat set point and will then send action potentials in order to activate the heat-loss processes. The posterior hypothalamus regulates heat loss by 3 main pathways.

1

Perspiration is more effective when the environment is humid. 

2

When the temperature in the anterior hypothalamus exceeds the thermostat setpoint, the heat-gain centre is stimulated. 

3

Vasodilatation of blood vessels in the skin results in a reddish color.