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Autonomic Nervous System

Autonomic Nervous System - than turning it completely on or...

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Autonomic Nervous System Properties The autonomic nervous system is the division of the peripheral nervous system that controls and regulates the internal organs . It is sometimes called the visceral motor nervous system. It regulates the unconscious processes that maintain homeostasis and its effects are often regulatory or modulatory in effect. Visceral Reflexes Often the activities of the autonomic nervous system are reflexes. If the glands, cardiac or smooth muscles are stimulated then the ANS causes an unconscious, automatic response to that stimulation. Specialized structures or cells detect internal stimuli and "notify" the CNS via afferent neurons. These afferent neurons communicate with interneurons in the CNS; if required, the interneurons stimulate efferent neurons, which carry signals to the effector organs . In this reflex arc, the efferent neurons are the ANS. Usually, the ANS modifies effector activity rather
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Unformatted text preview: than turning it completely on or off. Some examples of these reflex arcs are the regulation of blood pressure and body temperature . Note that in both of these examples, without ANS input BP and body temperature are "present" and the ANS only alters it. Parasympathetic NS In contrast, the origin of preganglionic neurons in the parasympathetic nervous system is in the brainstem and the sacral region of the spinal cord and it is referred to as craniosacral. Another major difference from the sympathetic nervous system is that the ganglia of the parasympathetic nervous system are located very close to the target organs. These terminal ganglia then extend very short axons to the target. The figure below illustrates this connection as it relates to the control of BP....
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