a self-organizing system that indicates the ability of living organisms to maintain certain quantities (for example, of body temperature) within physiologically permissible limits (homeostasis).

The English scientist W. R. Ashby, the inventor of the homeostat, constructed it in 1948 as a device consisting of four magnetic systems having crossed reverse connections. Each connection is regulated with the aid of a ring rheostat with taps that switch over when the magnets shift, providing the system with several hundred thousand different states. When there is an unstable state the magnets shift, randomly changing the pattern of homeostat connections: a new position is sought in which a state of equilibrium is achieved. The homeostat has the ability to organize itself: that is, it can to a certain degree learn and adjust through its behavioral patterns to an equilibrium with the environment, given some randomness in its internal construction (for example, given changing parameters, connections with the environment, and partial breakage).


Ivakhnenko, A. G. Tekhnicheskaia kibernetika: Sistemy avto-maticheskogo upravleniia s prisposobleniem kharakteristik, 2nd ed. Kiev, 1962.
“Ustroistvo dlia modelirovaniia gruppovoi vzaimozavisimoi deiatel’nosti (gomeostat).” In Problemy inzhenernoi psikhologii, vol. 3, part 2. Moscow, 1968.
Ashby, W. R. Vvedenie v kibernetiku. Moscow, 1959. (Translated from English.)


References in periodicals archive ?
The homeostat refers to the biological process of homeostasis, in which ecologies sustain a dynamic organization through regulatory mechanisms.
More specifically, we're going to discuss what Dilman called the adaptive homeostat, the system that the body uses to cope with stress.
Wiener himself described the formal theorisation of the concept of the homeostat as 'one of the great philosophical contributions of the present day' in its ability to alert us to the ubiquity of goal-oriented negative-feedback process.
such tensions, and far from being a 'sophisticated homeostat that
In 1969, Willats drew abstract renderings of William Ross Ashby's self-regulating Homeostat system, replete with connective arrows, which would influence his formal language from that point forward.
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Sleep is controlled by your internal body clock and also by your sleep homeostat, which is like an egg timer you flip over in the morning, allowing sleepiness to build up gradually through the day," says chronobiologist Dr Victoria Revell.
This suggests a possible reduction in sleep drive, and by inference, a faulty sleep homeostat.
The first is the genotypal homeostat whose hard-wired instincts guarantee a swift response to standard environmental stimuli.
is not a provisional construction, but] a fundamental biological value, a homeostat," or those who argue against the overrating of the socially constructed self and emphasize the capacity of the private self to break out of socially or culturally imposed narratives.
Civil rights serves as a homeostat, assuring that society contains exactly the right amount of racism.
He is best known for the Law of Requisite Variety, for his books Design for a Brain (1952) and An Introduction to Cybernetics (1956) and for building the Homeostat.