For as long as I can remember whenever I felt extremely hot or extremely cold people would tell me, “It’s all in your mind”. I never thought much of that statement because honestly it did not make sense to me that my mind, or brain, could make up the way my body is feeling, in terms of temperature. I simply always thought that if you were in a humid temperature you would be hot and if you were in a frigid temperature you would be cold. Is it necessarily true that one’s brain could control their body temperature?
One of the biggest jobs that the hypothalamus is responsible for, is controlling one’s body temperature. The hypothalamus is located in the brain, proving that the brain does control body temperature, in a certain way. Humans have a set body temperature which is right around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The hypothalamus can sense whether or not your body is close to that temperature and makes an effort to keep body temperatures constant. So in that effort, if the body gets too hot, the hypothalamus tells the glands to produce sweat and if the body is too cold, it makes the body shiver (Brashears). Does this explain why I am often very cold while others are moderately chill? In a way it could because being exposed to a cold environment will obviously make me cold. But when I recognize that I am in a colder environment, so does my hypothalamus, which tells the rest of my body that I should be trying to get warm.
The hypothalamus also controls a variety of other important functions. We even read an article in class about the hypothalamus. It concerned hamsters suffering from depression because they have slept with a light on. This light impacts the hypothalamus which then exerts hormones that can be a leading cause to depression. Although this wasn’t a study done on humans, it proved that if depression is something that one worries about, why not turn off the lights and television while sleeping. Because, in reality, what harm could that do?
I believe it is very interesting that the brain is actually what controls your body temperature. One would think that the temperature that your body is immersed in would be the only indicator of the temperature your body feels. It is intriguing to find that it seems to be a mixture of both. It is questionable, however, whether or not the hypothalamus can help the body not feel extreme drops and rises in body temperatures. Since it is pretty certain that the hypothalamus is the controlling factor for body temperature and it is located in the brain, it can be assumed that there is a positive correlation between the brain controlling bodily temperatures.
Jake Brashears. “Singing in the Rain.” ASU – Ask A Biologist. 9 Jun 2012. ASU – Ask A Biologist, Web. 15 Oct 2016. http://askabiologist.asu.edu/bird-hypothalamus
Teague, R. S., and S. W. Ranson. “THE ROLE OF THE ANTERIOR HYPOTHALAMUS IN TEMPERATURE REGULATION.” Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
Team, Healthline Medical. “Hypothalamus.” Function, Definition & Location. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.