AQA GCSE Biology

Revision Notes

5.1.1 Homeostasis

Homeostasis: Basics

  • Homeostasis is the regulation of the internal conditions of a cell or organism to maintain optimum conditions for function in response to internal and external changes
  • Homeostasis maintains optimal conditions for enzyme action and all cell functions
  • In the human body, these include control of:
    • Blood glucose concentration
    • Body temperature
    • Water levels

Control of Homeostasis

  • Maintaining controlled conditions within the body is under involuntary (automatic) control
  • This means that the brain stem (or non-conscious part of the brain) and the spinal cord are involved in maintaining homeostasis – you don’t consciously maintain your body temperature or blood glucose level
  • These automatic control systems may involve nervous responses or chemical responses
  • All control systems include:
    • Cells called receptors, which detect stimuli (changes in the environment)
    • Coordination centres (such as the brain, spinal cord and pancreas) that receive and process information from receptors
    • Effectors (muscles or glands) which bring about responses which restore optimum levels

Author: Jenna

Jenna studied at Cardiff University before training to become a science teacher at the University of Bath specialising in Biology (although she loves teaching all three sciences at GCSE level!). Teaching is her passion, and with 10 years experience teaching across a wide range of specifications – from GCSE and A Level Biology in the UK to IGCSE and IB Biology internationally – she knows what is required to pass those Biology exams.
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