QS Study

Hypothalamus is composed of numerous nuclei with dissimilar significant functions – hence, it is vital and confusing at the similar time. It is a part of the brain that contains a number of small nuclei with a mixture of functions. It is located below the thalamus and is part of the limbic system.

Hypothalamic control of body temperature

The body is very good at keeping its temperature within a safe range, even when temperatures outside the body change a lot. When you are too hot, the blood vessels in your skin widen to carry the excess heat to your skin’s surface.

Fig: Role of Hypothalamus in maintaining Body Temperature

In case of hot climate –

In case of excessive heat, preotice area of the hypothalamus is stimulated this causes increase heat loss and decrease heat production.

↑ Heat loss:

  • Cutaneous vasodilation.
  • Increase respiratory rate
  • Increase sweating.

↓ Heat production:

  1. Decrease shivering.
  2. Decrease chemical thermogenesis.

By this, the hypothalamus maintains normal body temperature in excess heat.

In case of excess cold:

In an excess cold, the dorsomedial portion of the posterior hypothalamus is stimulated which causes increase heat production and decreases heat loss.

↑ Heat production:

  • Increase shivering.
  • Increase voluntary activity.
  • Hunger.

↓ Heat loss:

  • Cutaneous vasoconstriction.
  • Curling up.

By this way, the hypothalamus maintains normal body temperature in case of excessive cold.