Peripheral Nervous System

Peripheral Nervous System - The Somatic Nervous System...

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Peripheral Nervous System The Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)contains only nerves and connects the brain and spinal cord (CNS) to the rest of the body. The axons and dendrites are surrounded by a white myelin sheath. Cell bodies are in the central nervous system (CNS) or ganglia . Ganglia are collections of nerve cell bodies. Cranial nerves in the PNS take impulses to and from the brain (CNS). Spinal nerves take impulses to and away from the spinal cord . There are two major subdivisions of the PNS motor pathways: the somatic and the autonomic. Two main components of the PNS: 1. sensory (afferent) pathways that provide input from the body into the CNS. 2. motor (efferent) pathways that carry signals to muscles and glands (effectors). Most sensory input carried in the PNS remains below the level of conscious awareness. Input that does reach the conscious level contributes to perception of our external environment. Somatic Nervous System
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Unformatted text preview: The Somatic Nervous System (SNS) includes all nerves controlling the muscular system and external sensory receptors. External sense organs (including skin) are receptors. Muscle fibers and gland cells are effectors . The reflex arc is an automatic, involuntary reaction to a stimulus. When the doctor taps your knee with the rubber hammer, she/he is testing your reflex (or knee-jerk). The reaction to the stimulus is involuntary, with the CNS being informed but not consciously controlling the response. Examples of reflex arcs include balance, the blinking reflex, and the stretch reflex. Sensory input from the PNS is processed by the CNS and responses are sent by the PNS from the CNS to the organs of the body. Motor neurons of the somatic system are distinct from those of the autonomic system. Inhibitory signals, cannot be sent through the motor neurons of the somatic system....
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