A written account of Laboratory work: Body Temperature.

Essay by turbeUniversity, Bachelor'sC+, April 2004

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Body Temperature represents the balance of heat produced and heat lost. In order for optimum functioning, the body needs to maintain a core temperature within the ranges of 36.1 to 37.8 degrees Celsius (Marieb, 2000). The purpose of this laboratory report is firstlty to describe the normal physiology of temperature control. The assignment will then focus on an experiment that was carried out in order to determine the effect that ingestion of hot and cold drinks would have on both oral and axilla temperature. Subjects used will be discussed and methodology along with issues relating to ensuring safe practice will be explained. Results of the investigations will then be displayed in spreadshheet and graph form. Finally, the relationship between these findings and the normal physiology of temperature control will be analytically discussed.


The human body is homoethermic, having the ability to constantly maintain a core temperature of approximately 37 degrees Celsius in health.

Core refers to the organs within the skull, thoracic and abdominal cavities (Hinchliff, Montague and Watson, 1996).Shell temperature, however, refers to that at skin surface and in contrast can fluctuate between 20 and 40 degrees Celsius according to environment the body is exposed to.

Regulation of body temperature is maintained by homeostasis, working on a feedback system involving a detector, effectors and a control system in the hypothalamus, which is the heat-regulating centre in the brain where core temperature is maintained at a constant level by these (Marieb, 2ooo). Impulses are received via afferent nerves from peripheral thermoceptors in the skin and centeral thermoceptors in the hyperthalamus, which monitor the temperature of blood flowing through them, thus acting as a thermostat (Hinchliff et al, 1996).

When the body senses that the core temperature is rising, sympathetic impulses trigger the anterior heat loss centre and initiate vascular...