Q:

What is a feedback mechanism?

A:

Quick Answer

A feedback mechanism is a process that uses the conditions of one component to regulate the function of the other. It is done to either increase or dampen the change in the system. When the process tends to increase the change in the system, the mechanism is known as positive feedback. Negative feedback is when the process seeks to counter the change and maintain equilibrium.

Know More
What is a feedback mechanism?
Credit: Patrik Giardino The Image Bank Getty Images

Full Answer

Feedback is part of a cause-and-effect loop where information about a system is returned to the controller of the system to improve its performance. An example of feedback and a feedback mechanism is the body's ability to control temperature. The condition of the body's temperature is the information fed back to the brain, which is the controller. If the temperature is high, the body sweats in order to cool down. Since the process of sweating is done to stop the temperature change, this is a negative feedback mechanism.

Another example is in psychology in a phenomenon known as "shame loops" that people who easily blush experience. When they realize that they are blushing, they become embarrassed about it, which then causes them to blush even more, creating a positive feedback mechanism. The positive and negative naming of the mechanisms do not indicate whether the feedback is good or bad.

Learn more in Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How does gas exchange happen in earthworms?

    A:

    Earthworms actually breathe through their skin, which means that their mechanism for gas exchange involves their entire body. This means that oxygen comes in through the skin and that carbon dioxide ultimately exits the same way. Inhalation draws air through the skin, and the oxygen dissolves in dampness on the skin of the worm, entering the capillaries directly.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of the pupil?

    A:

    The primary function of the human pupil is to regulate the amount of light that enters the eye. When the pupil is smaller, less light enters the eye in bright environments. The pupil gets larger as light levels decrease to let more light into the eye. Doctors examine the pupil to ascertain one's neurological function.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of the thalamus?

    A:

    The function of the thalamus is to regulate the body's voluntary motor control, consciousness and its sleep/wake cycle. It also regulates the senses of sight, sound, taste, touch and the sense of where the person's body is in space. The thalamus decides which signals from the ears, eyes, mouth and skin to relay to its area in the cerebral cortex. The thalamus doesn't relay information about the sense of smell.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of kidneys in fish?

    A:

    Fish kidneys, like human kidneys, regulate the ratio of water versus salt within the body. Fish kidneys have a more complicated job, however, as fish live in environments where they are constantly taking in water and salt.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore