Chapter 15 - The Autonomic Nervous System - CHAPTER 15 |...

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15|THE AUTONOMICNERVOUS SYSTEMFigure 15.1 Fight or Flight?Though the threats that modern humans face are not large predators, the autonomicnervous system is adapted to this type of stimulus. The modern world presents stimuli that trigger the same response.(credit: Vernon Swanepoel)IntroductionChapter ObjectivesAfter studying this chapter, you will be able to:Describe the components of the autonomic nervous systemDifferentiate between the structures of the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions in the autonomicnervous systemName the components of a visceral reflex specific to the autonomic division to which it belongsPredict the response of a target effector to autonomic input on the basis of the released signaling moleculeDescribe how the central nervous system coordinates and contributes to autonomic functionsThe autonomic nervous system is often associated with the “fight-or-flight response,” which refers to the preparation of thebody to either run away from a threat or to stand and fight in the face of that threat. To suggest what this means, consider the(very unlikely) situation of seeing a lioness hunting out on the savannah. Though this is not a common threat that humansdeal with in the modern world, it represents the type of environment in which the human species thrived and adapted. Thespread of humans around the world to the present state of the modern age occurred much more quickly than any specieswould adapt to environmental pressures such as predators. However, the reactions modern humans have in the modernworld are based on these prehistoric situations. If your boss is walking down the hallway on Friday afternoon looking forCHAPTER 15 | THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM611Download for free at ."The Autonomic NervousSystem" fromAnatomy and Physiologyby OpenStax College is available under aCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unportedlicense. © 2013, Rice University.
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“volunteers” to come in on the weekend, your response is the same as the prehistoric human seeing the lioness runningacross the savannah: fight or flight.Most likely, your response to your boss—not to mention the lioness—would be flight. Run away! The autonomicsystem is responsible for the physiological response to make that possible, and hopefully successful. Adrenaline starts toflood your circulatory system. Your heart rate increases. Sweat glands become active. The bronchi of the lungs dilate toallow more air exchange. Pupils dilate to increase visual information. Blood pressure increases in general, and blood vesselsdilate in skeletal muscles. Time to run. Similar physiological responses would occur in preparation for fighting off the threat.

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Physiology, Anatomy, Autonomic Nervous
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Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life
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Chapter 32 / Exercise 3
Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life
Starr/Taggart
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