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Homeostasis

from greek: homoiostasis - constancy
German: Homöostase


1 Definition

Homeostasis is physiological pursuit for accomplishing an equilibrium that is necessary for keeping an organism or an organ in life and function.

The term was coined in 1926 by Walter B. Cannon (1871 - 1945). It means that the internal milieu of the organism is held actively constant in order to provide a conducive environment for life processes. Today, the mathematical theory of homeostasis is subject of cybernetic systems theory.

2 Physiologie

Homeostasis is accomplished by mechanisms like feedback control, feedforward control, reafference principle or antagonistic redundancy. Examples for homeostasis are control of blood pressure, body temperature or hormone levels.

3 See also

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