Fight – Flight [Organ System; Change; Effect]

Fight – Flight [Organ System; Change; Effect]

Circulatory system:
Change: acceleration of heartbeat & increased stroke/volume; dilated arteries in rage muscles; constriction of blood vessels in skin; platelets become stickier; blood pressure rises temporarily
Effect: more rapid blood circulation; blood available in sites of major muscular effort; blood moved from surface to minimise loss; pallor; feeling of cold; blood clots more readily around wounds

Endocrine System:
Change: release of a wide arrange of hormones, including pituitary hormones, cortisol, neuropeptides , & opioids
Effect: integrates cellular & humoral responses

Respiratory System:
Change: respiration rate rises; deeper breaths are taken; bronchi expand
Effect: more oxygen available or the blood; enables deeper breathing

Gastrointestinal System:
Change: digestive processes shutdown; salivary production decreases
Effect: more blood available for muscles; mouth becomes dry

Perceptual System:
Change: dilation of pupil; auditory exclusion; nociception blocked
Effect: vision becomes clearer, especially in low-light; hearing may be lost – noise seems far away; pain perception list or greatly reduced

Renal System:
Change: production of urine by kidneys is reduced; bladder relaxes
Effect: conserves fluids; possible loss if bladder control

Hepatic System:
Change: glycogenesis stimulated, leading to increased serum levels of glucose
Effect: glucose fuels vigorous activity

Musculoskeletal System:
Change: large muscles tense; energised by adrenaline & glucose
Effect: rapid vigorous muscular reactions; “goose bumps” on skin surface

Immune System:
Change: numbers of granulocytes & macrophages circulating in the bloodstream increase in number; increased cytotoxicity of circulating cells
Effect: natural immunity boosted; inflammatory response heightened

Source: Felicity Allen. (2010) Health Psychology & Behaviour


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