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Human Physiology: From Cell to System by Sherwood - What You Need to Know About This Popular and Authoritative Textbook

Human Physiology From Cells To Systems Sherwood Pdf

Are you interested in learning more about human physiology? Do you want to understand how your body works from cells to systems? If so, you might want to check out the textbook Human Physiology From Cells To Systems by Lauralee Sherwood. This is one of the most popular and comprehensive textbooks on human physiology that covers all the major topics in an engaging and accessible way. In this article, we will give you an overview of what human physiology is, what are the levels of organization in human physiology, what is the Sherwood textbook and how to use it effectively.

Human Physiology From Cells To Systems Sherwood Pdf

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What is human physiology?

Human physiology is the scientific study of how the human body functions. It examines how cells, tissues, organs and organ systems work together to maintain homeostasis, which is a state of balance and stability in the body. Human physiology also explores how external factors such as temperature, stress, diet, exercise, drugs and diseases affect the body's function.

Human physiology is important because it helps us understand how our body works and how we can improve our health and well-being. It also provides the basis for many fields such as medicine, nursing, pharmacology, biotechnology, sports science, etc.

What are the levels of organization in human physiology?

The human body is composed of different levels of organization that range from simple to complex. These levels are:


Cells are the basic units of life that perform all the essential functions for living organisms. They are made up of various molecules such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids. Cells have different structures and functions depending on their type. For example, red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, nerve cells transmit electrical signals in the nervous system, muscle cells contract and relax to produce movement, etc.


Tissues are groups of cells that perform a common function. There are four main types of tissues in the human body: epithelial, connective, muscle and nervous. Epithelial tissues cover the body surfaces and line the cavities and organs. They protect, absorb, secrete and transport substances. Connective tissues support and bind other tissues and organs. They consist of cells and extracellular matrix that provide strength, elasticity and flexibility. Muscle tissues generate force and movement by contracting and relaxing. They are classified into skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscles. Nervous tissues conduct electrical impulses and coordinate the activities of the body. They are composed of neurons and glial cells.


Organs are structures composed of two or more tissues that perform a specific function. They have a characteristic shape, size and location in the body. Some examples of organs are the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, brain, etc.

Organ systems

Organ systems are groups of organs that work together to maintain homeostasis and perform a major function in the body. There are 11 organ systems in the human body: integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive. Each organ system has its own functions and components that interact with other organ systems.

What is the Sherwood textbook?

The Sherwood textbook is a comprehensive and authoritative textbook on human physiology that covers all the major topics from cells to systems. It is written by Lauralee Sherwood, who is a professor emerita of physiology at West Virginia University. The textbook is currently in its 10th edition, which was published in 2019.

Author and edition

Lauralee Sherwood is a renowned author and educator in the field of physiology. She has written several textbooks on physiology, anatomy and pharmacology for undergraduate and graduate students. She has also received numerous awards for her teaching excellence and contributions to physiology education.

The 10th edition of the Sherwood textbook is the latest and most updated version of the textbook. It reflects the current advances and discoveries in human physiology and incorporates feedback from students and instructors. It also features a new design and layout that enhances readability and visual appeal.

Content and structure

The Sherwood textbook consists of 29 chapters that cover all the major topics in human physiology from cells to systems. The chapters are organized into seven units: Introduction to Physiology and Homeostasis; Cell Physiology; The Plasma Membrane and Membrane Potential; Principles of Neural and Hormonal Communication; The Central Nervous System; The Peripheral Nervous System: Afferent Division; Special Senses; The Peripheral Nervous System: Efferent Division; Muscle Physiology; Cardiac Physiology; Vascular Physiology; The Blood; Body Defenses; The Respiratory System; The Urinary System; Fluid and Acid-Base Balance; The Digestive System; Energy Balance and Metabolism; Endocrine Glands; The Male Reproductive System; The Female Reproductive System; Human Development and Aging.

Each chapter begins with a list of learning objectives that outline the main concepts and skills that students will learn from the chapter. Then, the chapter presents the content in a clear and concise manner with relevant examples and applications. The chapter ends with a summary that reviews the key points of the chapter, a list of key terms that define the important terms used in the chapter, a set of review questions that test students' comprehension of the chapter, a set of critical thinking questions that challenge students' analytical skills, a set of case studies that apply the concepts to real-life scenarios, and a list of references that provide additional sources of information.

Learning objectives and outcomes

The Sherwood textbook has clear and measurable learning objectives and outcomes for each chapter that help students master human physiology. The learning objectives are based on Bloom's taxonomy of cognitive domains, which classify learning into six levels: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. The learning objectives cover all these levels to ensure that students develop not only factual knowledge but also higher-order thinking skills.

The learning outcomes are aligned with the learning objectives and assess students' achievement of the objectives. The learning outcomes are expressed as verbs that indicate what students should be able to do after completing the chapter. For example, some learning outcomes for Chapter 1 are: describe what physiology is and why it is important; explain how homeostasis is maintained by negative feedback loops; compare positive feedback loops with negative feedback loops; identify the components of a feedback loop; etc.

Pedagogical features

Pedagogical features

The Sherwood textbook has various pedagogical features that enhance students' learning experience and engagement. Some of these features are:

  • Illustrations, tables and diagrams: The textbook has numerous illustrations, tables and diagrams that complement the text and help students visualize and understand the concepts. The illustrations are colorful, detailed and accurate. The tables are concise, organized and informative. The diagrams are clear, labeled and explanatory.

  • Summaries: The textbook has summaries at the end of each section and chapter that review the main points and highlight the key terms. The summaries help students consolidate their learning and prepare for exams.

  • Questions: The textbook has questions throughout the text and at the end of each chapter that test students' knowledge and understanding of the concepts. The questions are varied, challenging and relevant. They include multiple choice, true/false, fill in the blank, short answer and essay questions.

  • Case studies: The textbook has case studies at the end of each chapter that apply the concepts to real-life scenarios. The case studies are interesting, realistic and relatable. They stimulate students' critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Online resources

The Sherwood textbook is accompanied by online resources that provide additional support and enrichment for students and instructors. Some of these resources are:

  • Animations and videos: The online resources include animations and videos that illustrate and demonstrate the concepts and processes in human physiology. The animations and videos are interactive, engaging and informative.

  • Quizzes and tests: The online resources include quizzes and tests that assess students' learning outcomes and progress. The quizzes and tests are adaptive, personalized and feedback-oriented.

  • Lecture slides and notes: The online resources include lecture slides and notes that summarize the content and structure of each chapter. The lecture slides and notes are editable, downloadable and printable.

  • Laboratory manual: The online resources include a laboratory manual that provides instructions and activities for conducting experiments and investigations in human physiology. The laboratory manual is practical, hands-on and inquiry-based.

How to use the Sherwood textbook effectively?

The Sherwood textbook is a valuable resource for learning human physiology, but it requires proper use to maximize its benefits. Here are some tips and advice on how to use the textbook effectively:

Before reading

Before reading the textbook, you should:

  • Review previous knowledge: You should review what you already know about human physiology or related topics from previous courses or experiences. This will help you activate your prior knowledge and connect it to the new information.

  • Set goals: You should set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals for what you want to learn from the textbook. This will help you focus your attention and motivation on the most important aspects.

  • Skim the chapter: You should skim the chapter by looking at the title, learning objectives, headings, subheadings, illustrations, tables, diagrams, summaries, key terms, questions and case studies. This will help you get an overview of the main ideas and structure of the chapter.

During reading

During reading the textbook, you should:

  • Take notes: You should take notes of the main points, details, examples and explanations in your own words. This will help you process and retain the information better.

  • Highlight key points: You should highlight or underline the key points or terms that are essential for understanding human physiology. This will help you identify and remember the most important information.

  • Ask questions: You should ask questions about anything that is unclear, confusing or interesting to you. This will help you clarify your doubts, deepen your understanding and stimulate your curiosity.

After reading

After reading the textbook, you should:

  • Review notes: You should review your notes by summarizing them in a few sentences or bullet points. This will help you consolidate your learning and recall the information later.

  • Answer questions: You should answer the questions that are provided in the textbook or online resources. This will help you check your comprehension and application of the concepts.

  • Apply concepts: You should apply the concepts that you learned from the textbook to real-life situations or problems. This will help you transfer your knowledge and skills to new contexts and situations.


Human physiology is a fascinating and important subject that explores how the human body functions from cells to systems. The Sherwood textbook is a comprehensive and authoritative textbook that covers all the major topics in human physiology in an engaging and accessible way. The textbook has clear and measurable learning objectives and outcomes, various pedagogical features and online resources that enhance students' learning experience and engagement. To use the textbook effectively, students should follow some tips and advice such as reviewing previous knowledge, setting goals, skimming the chapter, taking notes, highlighting key points, asking questions, reviewing notes, answering questions and applying concepts. By using the Sherwood textbook effectively, students can master human physiology and improve their health and well-being.


Here are some frequently asked questions about the Sherwood textbook:

Who is the author of the Sherwood textbook?

  • The author of the Sherwood textbook is Lauralee Sherwood, who is a professor emerita of physiology at West Virginia University.

What is the latest edition of the Sherwood textbook?

  • The latest edition of the Sherwood textbook is the 10th edition, which was published in 2019.

How many chapters are there in the Sherwood textbook?

  • There are 29 chapters in the Sherwood textbook that cover all the major topics in human physiology from cells to systems.

What are some of the pedagogical features of the Sherwood textbook?

  • Some of the pedagogical features of the Sherwood textbook are illustrations, tables, diagrams, summaries, questions and case studies.

What are some of the online resources that accompany the Sherwood textbook?

  • Some of the online resources that accompany the Sherwood textbook are animations, videos, quizzes, tests, lecture slides, notes and laboratory manual.



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