Latin physiologia natural science, from Greek, from physi- + -logia -logy
- 1: a branch of biology that deals with the functions and activities of life or of living matter (as organs, tissues, or cells) and of the physical and chemical phenomena involved — compare anatomy
- 2: the organic processes and phenomena of an organism or any of its parts or of a particular bodily process
Physiology is the science of the function of living systems. This includes how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system. The highest honor awarded in physiology is the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, awarded since 1901 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Many U.S. universities offer physiology as a major.
Human physiology is the science of the mechanical, physical and biochemical functions of humans in good health, their organs, and the cells of which they are composed. The principal level of focus of physiology is at the level of organs and systems within systems. Much of the foundation of knowledge in human physiology was provided by animal experimentation. Physiology is closely related to anatomy; anatomy is the study of form, and physiology is the study of function. Due to the frequent connection between form and function physiology and anatomy are intrinsically linked and are studied in tandem as part of a medical curriculum.