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Why Do You Get Goosebumps

In: Science

Submitted By colefortuin
Words 607
Pages 3
Ever wonder why you get goose bumps? Do they serve a purpose? Why do they develop when we are cold? Cutis anserine is one of the medical terms for Goosebumps (cutis means skin and anserine means goose). The term describes a change in the skin from smooth to bumpy which usually occurs after exposure to the cold. Most animals regulate their body temperature at a particular level. For humans it is 37°C. If the temperature is too high the body will apply different mechanisms to decrease its temperature. E.g. sweating and dilation of blood vessels. If the temperature is to low the body will counteract to increase the temperature. E.g. shivering, constriction of blood vessels and goose bumps. This is a negative feedback system which allows us to maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis is the process of keeping a constant internal condition.

How do we keep things the same? To keep our body at a constant temperature we need three things: receptors, a processing centre and effectors. Thermoreceptors in the skin detect changes in external temperature. They pass this information on to the processing centre in the brain called the hypothalamus which is a tiny gland in the brain. An important job of the hypothalamus is to regulate body temperature.

Your body’s reaction to heat loss is involuntary and controlled by the hypothalamus. When it receives the message from the thermoreceptors it automatically triggers changes to effectors.

The effectors are tiny muscles called arrector pili found attached to the hair follicles. When stimulated, these muscles will contract and cause the…...

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