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59 CHAPTER 15: THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM AND VISCERAL REFLEXES Chapter Overview Introduction Chapter 15 reviews the overall structure and function of the autonomic nervous system and its major sections. The nervous system does not exist in isolation but brings information from the senses into the central nervous system, processes the information, and then, should it decide to act on the information, sends messages out to effectors such as muscles and glands. The author already has introduced the concept of reflexes in chapter 13. The autonomic nervous system has two divisions (sympathetic and parasympathetic) which will sometimes cause opposite actions within the body, sometimes act in concert to produce a single effect, or sometimes act individually. Professor Saladin also illustrates the integration of the autonomic nervous system and its control from the central nervous system. Key Concepts Here are some concepts that students should have a better understanding of after reading this chapter: visceral reflexes and the divisions of the divisions of the autonomic nervous system; neural pathways of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems including: arrangement of fibers and the specific nerves and ganglia in the sympathetic division and the organs they control; configuration and functions of the nerves and ganglia of the parasympathetic division; the adrenal glands with emphasis on the medulla; the enteric nervous system in brief; aspects of the central control of autonomic functions; the various subtypes of neurotransmitter receptors, the consequences to the effected organs, dual innervation and the applications to neuropharmacology; and mechanisms of the central control of the autonomic nervous system. Topics for Discussion 1. If it fits in your course objectives, a good review activity is to get the students to list the specific functions that a person would lose if certain skull openings were to close, for example the superior orbital fissure or the stylomastoid foramen. Too often the students learn one organ system then forget it
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This note was uploaded on 02/09/2012 for the course BIO 102 taught by Professor William during the Spring '11 term at Harvard.

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