Autonomic Nervous System Overview
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Autonomic Nervous System Overview

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Questions and Answers

What is the main function of the Parasympathetic Nervous System?

Decrease heart rate to conserve energy

Which neurotransmitter is released when the Parasympathetic Nervous System is active?


What effect does prolonged stress have on the autonomic nervous system?

Leads to excessive sympathetic activation

Which bodily function is NOT promoted by the Parasympathetic Nervous System?

<p>Heart rate increase</p> Signup and view all the answers

What could be a consequence of too much parasympathetic activation?

<p>Poor sleep quality</p> Signup and view all the answers

How does the Parasympathetic Nervous System contribute to balance in bodily functions?

<p>By decreasing heart rate and promoting glandular secretions</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the primary role of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)?

<p>Regulating heart rate and blood pressure</p> Signup and view all the answers

Which branch of the Autonomic Nervous System is activated during times of stress, fear, or excitement?

<p>Sympathetic Nervous System</p> Signup and view all the answers

What physiological responses occur when the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) is activated?

<p>Dilation of bronchioles and increased heart rate</p> Signup and view all the answers

Which of the following is NOT a function of the Sympathetic Nervous System?

<p>Lowering heart rate</p> Signup and view all the answers

What is the role of epinephrine in the body when the Sympathetic Nervous System is active?

<p>Increasing heart rate</p> Signup and view all the answers

What does the Sympathetic Nervous System do to hair follicles in response to cold temperatures?

<p>Erect them to generate warmth</p> Signup and view all the answers

Study Notes

Autonomic Nervous System

The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is a part of the peripheral nervous system that controls several internal organs. It plays a critical role in regulating essential bodily functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, respiration, and even sexual arousal. The ANS is divided into two main branches: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. These branches work together to maintain homeostasis within the body.

Sympathetic Nervous System

The Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS), also known as the "fight or flight" response, prepares the body for physical activity by increasing heart rate, respiration, and dilating bronchioles. This branch is activated during times of stress, fear, or excitement when the body needs more energy. When the SNS is active, it releases epinephrine (adrenaline), which helps increase heart rate and release glucose from liver cells.

Functions of the Sympathetic Nervous System

  1. Increased heart rate to supply muscles with oxygenated blood.
  2. Dilation of bronchioles to allow fresh air into the lungs.
  3. Release of glucose from liver cells to boost energy levels.
  4. Contraction of pupils to improve visual focus.
  5. Erection of hair follicles, which can sense cold temperatures.
  6. Piloerection, causing goosebumps.

Parasympathetic Nervous System

In contrast, the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) or the "rest and digest" response conserves energy by slowing down heart rate and reducing metabolic activities. It is responsible for restoring balance after periods of intense sympathetic activation. When the PNS is active, it releases acetylcholine, which has the opposite effect of epinephrine.

Functions of the Parasympathetic Nervous System

  1. Decreases heart rate to conserve energy.
  2. Slows down breathing.
  3. Promotes glandular secretions for digestion and metabolism.
  4. Facilitates defecation and urination.
  5. Supports reproductive activities.

Balance Between the Two Systems

While both systems have distinct roles, their effects must be balanced for normal functioning. For example, prolonged stress can lead to excessive sympathetic activation, which may cause anxiety, cardiovascular disease, or other health issues. On the other hand, too much parasympathetic activation can result in poor sleep quality and reduced alertness. A healthy balance between these two branches ensures proper regulation of bodily functions and overall wellbeing.

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Explore the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), its branches - the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, and their roles in regulating bodily functions. Learn about the 'fight or flight' response of the sympathetic system and the 'rest and digest' response of the parasympathetic system, along with the importance of balance between them for overall wellbeing.

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