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autonomic nervous system

the part of the nervous system of vertebrates that controls involuntary actions of the smooth muscles and heart and glands

involuntary nervous system

Another name for Autonomic Nervous System

phrenic nerve

one of a pair of nerves that arises from cervical spinal roots and passes down the thorax to innervate the diaphragm and control breathing

axillary nerve

innervates the deltoid, teres minor, and skin and joint capsule of the shoulder

radial nerve

innervates essentially all extensor muscles, supinators, and posterior skin of limb

median nerve

innervates the skin, most flexors and pronators in the forearm, and some intrinsic muscles of the hand

musculocutaneous nerve

innervates the biceps brachii and brachialis and skin of lateral forearm

ulnar nerve

supplies the flexor carpi ulnaris, part of the flexor digitorum profundus, most intrinsic muscles of the hand, and skin of medial aspect of hand

femoral nerve

innervates quadriceps and skin of anterior thigh and medial surface of leg

obturator nerve

controls adductors of hips

sciatic nerve

arises from the sacral plexus and passes about halfway down the thigh where it divides into the common peroneal and tibial nerves

common fibular nerve

innervates muscles of the anterolateral leg

tibial nerve

a branch of the sciatic nerve that passes through the popliteal fossa to pass below the arch of soleus.

gluteal nerve

controls extensors of hip

postganglion axon

2nd neuron outside on the CNS that extends to the organ it serves

sympathetic division

The branch of the autonomic nervous system that mobilizes the body's resources for emergencies.

terminal ganglion

a cluster of cell bodies of parasympathetic postganglionic neurons either lying very close to the visceral effectors or located within the walls of the visceral effectors supplied by the postganglionic neurons

ramus communicans

Branch of spinal nerve; connects to sympathetic trunk and innervates viscera

sympathetic chain ganglion

What ganglion receives preganglionic sympathetic fibers from T1 to L1-2 and innervates smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, glands, head, thoracic viscera, and blood vessels of the body wall and limbs?

sympathetic trunk

This nerve runs along each side of the vertebral column. It receives neurons from anterior rami of the spinal nerves via the sympathetic trunk ganglia. It serves many organs from the head to the pelvis. Because it receives nerves from the intervertebral foramina it is difficult to lift away from the body wall. In the neck it runs with the vagus nerve (X).

collateral ganglion

splanchnic nerves which travel to the viscera to synapse with a ganglionic neuron

parasympathetic division

a branch of the autonomic nervous system that maintains normal body functions; it calms the body ever conserves energy

preganglionic axon

one of a chain of motor neurons; leaves the CNS to synapse with 2nd motor neron in a ganlion outside the CNS

CT scan

a series of x-ray photographs taken from different angles and combined by computer into a composite representation of a slice through the body.

MRI scan

uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce computer-generated images that distinguish among different types of soft tissue

PET scan

a visual display of brain activity that detects where a radioactive form of glucose goes while the brain performs a given task


eletroencephalogram; an amplified recording of the waves of electrical activity that sweep across the brain's surface. These waves are measured by electrodes placed on the scalp

cerebral angiogram

x-ray of blood vessels in the brain after intracarotid injection of contrast medium


radiographic films of the brain utilizing injections of air or gas

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