What are the types of physiology

The physiology (Old Gr. φύσις phýsis 'Nature' and λόγος lógos 'Doctrine', 'Reason' or physiologica = Natural history) as a branch of biology is the study of the physical and biochemical processes in the cells, tissues and organs of all living beings; it also includes the interaction of all life processes in the entire organism in its consideration. The aim of physiology is to make predictions about the behavior of a system under consideration (e.g. metabolism, movement, germination, growth, reproduction) on a molecular level, if possible.

The designation physiology was minted around 1525 by Jean François Fernel. Physiological research and training takes place in biology, medicine, psychology and sports science.

In the everyday language of doctors it is physiological also - without direct reference to the field of physiology - in the sense of normal, occurring in healthy people, not pathological used. Labeled accordingly unphysiological or pathological a deviation from normal life processes occurring or desirable in healthy people.

Main areas of physiology

The subject areas of physiology are extremely diverse. In particular, she works together with biochemistry, which was formerly called 'Physiological Chemistry'. Physiology's focus is on the dynamics of biological processes and their causal relationships; so it analyzes changes such as information processing rather than static conditions. The most important tools - experimental set-ups and measurement procedures - come from physics and chemistry in the physiology department.

Derived from the traditional structure of biology, there are two main focuses

In addition to plants, animals and humans, physiology also deals with all other living beings.

The Human physiology is an independent sub-area of ​​medicine. Targeted pharmacology would not be possible without physiology; because it can partially describe and also predict the effects, properties and disadvantages of drugs.

Physiologists analyze the basic life processes at different levels of complexity; Examples for this are:

Pathological conditions are also examined, for which pathophysiology has established its own sub-area. The boundaries between physiology and anatomy, biochemistry, molecular biology, psychology and neurobiology are fluid.

At German universities is the Human physiology mostly based at the medical faculties and, with biochemistry, anatomy and psychology as well as the three natural sciences biology, chemistry and physics, are among the preclinical subjects that also represent a state intermediate examination within the framework of the physics college.

Training as a specialist in physiology in Germany

In order to work as a “specialist in physiology” in Germany after completing a medical degree, you need four years of further training. One year in another medical specialty can be credited towards this.

See also


Human medicine

  • Ernst Schubert: Human physiology. Floor plan for medical professions. Verlag Wissenschaftliche Scripten, Zwickau 2002, ISBN 3-928921-79-7.
  • Rainer Klinke, Hans-Christian Pape, Stefan Silbernagl (Eds.): Physiology textbook. 5th edition. Thieme, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-13-796003-7.
  • Robert F. Schmidt, Florian Lang, Manfred Heckmann (Eds.): Human physiology. 31st edition. Springer, Heidelberg 2010, ISBN 978-3-642-01650-9.
  • Stefan Silbernagl, Agamemnon Despopoulos: Pocket atlas of physiology. 7th edition. Thieme, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 3-13-567707-9.
  • Gerhard Thews, Peter Vaupel: Vegetative Physiology. 5th edition. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005, ISBN 3-540-24070-5.
  • Thomas Braun et al .: Short textbook physiology. 1st edition. Elsevier, Urban and Fischer, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-437-41777-0.

Plant physiology

  • Peter Schopfer, Axel Brennicke: Plant physiology. Founded by Hans Mohr. 6th edition. Elsevier, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-8274-1561-5.
  • Walter Larcher: Ecophysiology of plants. Life, performance and stress management of plants in their environment. 6th edition. Ulmer Verlag, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-8252-8074-8.

Animal physiology

  • Heinz Penzlin: Animal Physiology Textbook. 7th edition. Spectrum Academic Publishing House, 2005, ISBN 3-8274-0170-4.

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