The physiology is the science that focuses on the study of normal function that occurs within living things.  It is a subsection of the branch of biology that covers a variety of topics including organs , anatomy , cells , biological compounds, and how they all interact to make life possible. From ancient theories to molecular laboratory techniques , physiological research has shaped our understanding of the components of our bodies, how they communicate, and how they keep us alive .


What is physiology?

Physiology is the science that is responsible for conducting studies on the different normal functions that occur in living beings and the mechanisms that work in the internal part of a living system.

  • Etymology
  • What studies
  • History
  • Who is the father of physiology
  • features
  • Basic principles
  • Function
  • Target
  • Divisions
  • Branches
  • Sport physiology
  • Importance
  • Authors
  • Examples
  • Books on physiology


The word physiology or / ˌfɪziˈɒlədʒi /; is a word that comes from the ancient Greek language in which φύσις that refers to the physis , has as meaning ” nature, origin “, and -λογία that means – logia , refers in Spanish to the ” study of “, in short , physiology refers to the scientific study of the functions and mechanisms that function within a living system.


What studies

Physiology is the branch of biology that is responsible for studying the different functions that living beings have , looking for the best way to explain the different chemical , physical and biological factors that are part of the origin , development and progress of life. life. It also studies the interactions of molecules that occur in living beings and the way in which they acquire their functional characteristics. We could say physiology studies life and its inner workings and its interaction with the world around it.


Human physiology dates back to the times of Hippocrates , the father of medicine . The critical thinking of Aristotle marked the beginning of physiology in Ancient Greece , while Galen , was the first to use experiments to test the function of the body. Galen is considered the founder of experimental physiology. During the Middle Ages, ancient medical traditions were developed by Muslim doctors , especially Avicenna (980-1037), who introduced experimentation and many of the ancient physiological doctrines.They were discredited by Ibn al-Nafis who was the first doctor to correctly describe the anatomy of the heart, the coronary circulation, the structure of the Lungs and the pulmonary circulation, and is considered the father of circulatory physiology .

With the Middle Ages , the Renaissance increased physiological research in the Western world by activating the modern study of anatomy and physiology . In the 18th century, important important works related to physiology were born and in the 19th century , physiological knowledge began to develop mainly with the cell theory of Matthias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann, who said that organisms were made up of units called cells . As early as the 20th century, biologists became interested in organisms other than human beings.

Who is the father of physiology

Claude Bernard , a 19th century French physician, is considered by many to be the Father of the experimental method and founder of Experimental Physiology . It is important to mention that the title of father of modern physiology has been awarded to Jean Fernel who was in charge of giving an important turn to medical science on the human body as a whole.


The main characteristics of physiology are as follows:

  • It is a science that studies the different functions of living beings .
  • It gives meaning to the relationships that exist between the elements that provide life to living beings.
  • It is based on the basic unit of living beings which is the cell .
  • It is closely related to the human anatomy .
  • It divides the organism into different systems to facilitate its study .

Basic principles

The basic principles of physiology are as follows:

  • Tissues , Organs, and Organ Systems : All human beings and complex multicellular organisms are made up of groups of organs that work together to carry out processes for survival . The body at the same time, have levels of organization formed by tissues , organs and systems .
  • Homeostasis : it is the body’s resistance against changes in order to be able to maintain an internal environment that is stable and constant . Use feedback loops that counteract changes.
  • Metabolism and self-regulation : includes the metabolic rate which varies depending on the type of activity carried out by the body.


The function of physiology is to carry out studies on the way in which organic beings function through the study of the interactions that occur between the basic elements of living beings with their environment in order to understand the functional processes of organisms. and its elements.


The main objective of physiology is to be able to carry out studies on the way in which organic beings function .


The science of physiology has the following divisions:

  • Animal physiology : is the one in charge of studying the different processes that occur in the animal kingdom .
  • Plant physiology : it is the one that covers the study of the processes that occur in the plant kingdom, it studies everything related to plants.
  • General : is responsible for studying the aspects of vital functions that are normal in all organisms.
  • Cellular: it focuses on studying the function of complex units such as neurons, nephrons, hepatocytes, etc.
  • Special : it is the one that studies a special group of living beings.
  • Comparative Physiology : This type of physiology occurs when a function is studied on a zoological scale.


  • Cellular physiology:  studies the activities that take place in a cell to keep it alive such as the absorption of water by the roots, the production of food in the leaves and the growth of the shoots towards the light. It also refers to the physiology of transport , neuronal transmission , and muscle contraction .
  • Human Physiology : studies how the human body works , mechanical , physical , bioelectrical and biochemical functions of human beings in good health. The human body has many interacting organ systems that work together to keep the body in a stable state with safe levels of substances such as sugar and oxygen in the blood.
  • Vegetable : study the functioning of plants . Conducts research on morphology , ecology , the phytochemical , cell biology, the genetics , the biophysics and molecular biology .
  • Environmental : it is known by the name of eco physiology and studies the way in which plants can respond in their environment . It is closely related to ecology . Conduct studies on the response of the plant to different physical factors , temperature, fire and wind .
  • Evolutionary : studies the physiological evolution and functional characteristics of individuals in a population of organisms and how they have responded to selection through multiple generations during the history of the population.
  • Comparison : study and explore the functional characteristics of various types of organisms. It is related to evolutionary physiology and environmental physiology . Your goal is to describe how different types of animals meet your needs.

Sport physiology

Sports physiology is a term that refers to the science applied to improving athletic performance . It tries with it to understand the different responses that the body has to exercise and the different adaptations to training . They are the responses that the body produces when it experiences some type of physical activity and also comprises several mechanisms that are intended for the production of energy by the muscles to achieve balance in all systems.


Physiology is very important because it is a science that gives us a general and unitary vision that every organism has , because it uses a series of previous knowledge to be able to reveal important information regarding systems and cells , it focuses on the functioning of a healthy individual to be able to know all its characteristics and because learning from it is vital to be able to learn about other aspects such as pharmacology or pathophysiology .


Some authors of topics related to physiology are:

  • Rafael Alonso Solís , Department of Physiology of the University of La Laguna.
  • Ángel Álvarez Sánchez , digestive system service of the San Carlos Clinical Hospital.
  • Ana Aranda , Institute for Biomedical Research.
  • José Bargas Dias, neurosciences.


Some examples of physiology are:

  • The study of how the kidneys act as body filters .
  • Study of the lungs in the body to carry out the exchange of oxygen for the proper functioning of all the cells of the body.
  • The study of phototropism in plants.
  • Study of the function of the heart that pumps blood throughout the body.

Books on physiology

Some books that have been written regarding physiology are:

  • Human Physiology , an integrated approach.
  • Principles of Anatomy and Physiology .
  • Treaty of Medical Physiology.
  • Respiratory Physiology , Fundamentals.
  • Principles of Animal Physiology .

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