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Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)

This regulates the activity of smooth muscle, cardiac muscle and glands

Autonomic sensory neurons, Integrating Centers in the CNS and Autonomic motor neurons

Structurally the ANS includes what three parts?

Without conscious control

Does the ANS operate with or without conscious control?

Hypothalamus and Medulla Oblongata

The ANS is regulated by which two parts of the brain?

Limbic System and other regions of the cerebrum

The hypothalamus and medulla oblongata receive input from where?

Somatic nervous system

1. This system's sensory neurons receive input from receptors of the special senses that are perceived consciously
2. This system's motor neurons innervate skeletal muscle to produce conscious, voluntary movement. The effect is always excitation

Autonomic nervous system

1. This system's sensory neurons are associated with interoceptors in viscera. These activities usually lie beyond conscious control and not consciously perceived.
2. Motor Neurons regulate visceral activities by either increasing (exciting) or decreasing (inhibiting) ongoing activities of cardiac muscle, smooth muscle or glands. Can not be consciously altered or suppressed.


This efferent neuron synapses on skeletal muscles


Two efferent neurons of this type synapse from CNS to glanglion, and then glanglion to visceral effector.

Acetylcholine (ACh)

Somatic efferent neurons release what?

Acetylcholine (ACh)

Autonomic efferent PREganglionic neurons release what?

Acetylcholine (ACh) and Norepinephrine (NE)

Autonomic efferent POSTganglionic neurons release what?

Nerves, ganglia and plexuses

Autonomic nervous system consists of visceral efferent neurons organized into what?


The first of two autonomic efferent neurons (with myelinated axons) extend from CNS to ganglion is called what?


The second of two autonomic efferent neurons (with UNmyelinated axons) lies entirely outside the CNS and extends directly to the effector (muscle or gland)

Sympathetic and parasympathetic

The autonomic nervous system consists of two principle divisions

Sympathetic trunk ganglia (on both sides of spinal column), prevertebral ganglia (anterior to spinal column) and parasympathetic terminal ganglia (near or inside visceral effectors)

Autonomic ganglia are classified as what and located where?

Visceral Autonomic Reflex

This adjusts the activity of a visceral effector

receptor, afferent neuron, association neuron, visceral efferent preganglionic neuron, Visceral efferent postganglionic neuron, and visceral effector

Name the six components of a Visceral autonomic reflex arc

To convey a motor impulse from the CNS to the autonomic ganglion

The role of the preganglionic neuron is what?


Autonomic fibers release what at synapses

Cholinergic fibers

These release ACh and their effects are short lived and local. ex) sweat glands

Adrenergic fibers

These produce NE and their effects are longer lasting and more widespread. Most sympathetic postganglionic neurons are these.

Nicotinic and muscarinic receptors

ACh interacts with these two types of cholinergic receptors.

Nicotinic receptors

These receptors are on postganglionic neurons

Muscarinic receptors

These receptors are on certain visceral effectors.

Alpha and Beta Receptors

NE interacts with these two types of adrenergic receptors on visceral effectors.

Sympathetic response

Fight or flight

Parasympathetic response

Energy conservation and restoration such as salivation, lacrimation, urination, digestion and defecation.


This controls and integrates with the autonomic nervous system. It is connected to both the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions

Cerebral Cortex

This controls the autonomic nervous system primarily during emotional stress.


This is a process in which people learn to monitor visceral functions and to control them consciously. It can be used to control heart rate, ease migraine headaches and make childbirth easier.


This is a higher consciousness achieved through a fully rested and relaxed body and a fully awake and relaxed mind.

Transcendental Meditation

TM can effect certain physiological responses. What does TM stand for?

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