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The autonomic nervous system Stellek Bálint Sándor 2016.10.27. - The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is a division of the peripheral nervous system (other division is somatic nervous system) - It influences the function of internal organs - It acts largely unconsciously - It regulates bodily functions such as heart rate, digestion, urination, respiratory rate etc. - Within the brain, the ANS regulated by the hypothalamus - The autonomic nervous system is divided into two part: - Sympathetic nervous system - Emerges from the spinal cord in the thoracic and lumbar areas ("thoracolumbar outflow”) - Parasympathetic nervous system - It has “craniosacral outflow”, meaning that the neurons begin at the cranial nerves and sacral spinal cord. Sympathetic nervous system - It’s primary process is to stimulate the body's fight-or-flight response - And it constantly active at a basic level to maintain homeostasis. Parasympathetic nervous system - The parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) is the other divisions of the autonomic nervous system - The parasympathetic system is responsible for stimulation of "rest-and-digest" or "feed and breed” activities. - These occur when the body is at rest, especially after eating, including sexual arousal, salivation, lacrimation (tears), urination, digestion and defecation. - It has 3 main division (nerves): Cranial nerves, vagus nerve and pelvic splanchnic nerves - Two kinds of neurons involved in the transmission of any signal through the sympathetic and parasympathetic system: pre-ganglionic and post-ganglionic - Ganglion is a nerve cell cluster or a group of nerve cell bodies located in the autonomic nervous system. Ganglia house the cell bodies of afferent nerves. - In the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, efferent nerve signals are carried from the central nervous system to their targets by a system of two neurons. - The axons of preganglionic parasympathetic neurons are usually long, extending from the CNS into a ganglion that is either very close to or embedded in their target organ (sympathetic is the opposite).