exam3 - Portia Mellott April 4, 2009 Pf. DeVree PSY 201...

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Portia Mellott April 4, 2009 Pf. DeVree PSY 201 EXAM 3 1. The autonomic nervous system is part of the nervous system that works entirely by itself. The human mind does not think and decide on actions and reactions in the autonomic nervous system. For example, humans do not think every time they have to breathe. The body by itself naturally lets us inhale and exhale in order to survive without the constant thought of remembering to breathe. Other examples include the work of the organs, digestive system, heart rate, blood flow, and much more. The autonomic nervous system is divided into two parts: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is the body’s response to emergency situations. For example, as I was leaving the HCC parking lot, a car pulled out quickly from a parking space and almost hit me. I was driving too fast to stop, so without thinking my body quickly reacted by swerving around the other car. I was inches from hitting the car, but just barely passed it without damage to the cars or myself. This all happened in seconds, so I was unable to initially think and respond in time. Because of the sympathetic nervous system, my body was able to automatically raise my heart rate and blood pressure, decrease the digestive processes, and dilate my pupils. Adrenaline was also pumped into my blood stream, which allowed me to avoid the car with rapid muscle movements. This is sometimes called the fight-or-flight response, which can also be used in emotional or stressful events. The parasympathetic nervous system is the opposite because it is the regulation of all bodily functions. The parasympathetic nervous system is always working. It is working right now
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in every single person’s body at this moment because it is operating the body’s functions. It regulates the lungs, heart, digestive system, bladder, sex organs, salivary glands, and many more. Humans are completely unaware of the parasympathetic nervous system because it is independent and requires no specific thought to function by itself. 2. In the Central Nervous System, three neurons can be found: sensory neurons, motor neurons, and interneurons. Sensory neurons are responses to the senses such as sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Motor neurons are the response and control of muscles and other movements. Both sensory neurons and motor neurons are connected by the interneuron in the pathways to the spinal cord. For example, when you touch something hot such as an oven, neurons are fired and take the quickest pathway to the spinal cord. The spinal cord sends a motor neuron down another pathway to the hand telling the hand to jerk away from the heat. You don’t realize until after you removed your hand that you were getting burnt. However, usually the brain is included in pathways. For example, when you eat something, the sensory neurons from the tongue go to the spinal cord and then to the brain to determine voluntarily if the food is spicy,
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exam3 - Portia Mellott April 4, 2009 Pf. DeVree PSY 201...

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