Control theory and feeding

Toates, F. M. (1983). Control theory and feeding. Transactions of the Institute of Measurement and Control, 5 pp. 48–56.



A very basic model of the neural processes underlying feeding is presented. In this model, feeding is aroused by the sensory properties of food, under the restraint or amplification of a signal arising from internal energy state. The anticipatory and adaptive nature of the feeding control system is described. Feeding is compared with other control systems such as temperature, sodium and fluid control. Feeding and energy regulation are used as the basis for a discussion on the meaning of the term 'set point'. In the context of this term, at least three levels of explanation commonly used in the literature are identified. It is argued that, in discussions of whether or not set-points exist, it is important to specify the level of description/explanation that is being employed.

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