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CHAPTER 3 Biological Foundations Part II

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Wagner Denton

1 CHAPTER 3: Biological Foundations Part II Spinal Cord  Connects the brain to the peripheral nervous system o Reflex arc: Sensory information is sent to the spinal cord via a sensory neuron, which synapses upon an interneuron, which synapse upon a motor neuron controlling the skeletal muscles  allowing you to move your hand without waiting for instructions from the brain  Why you can move your hand away from a dangerous stimulus (e.g., hot stove) before you consciously experience any pain Beyond the Brain: The Peripheral Nervous System  Transits information to the CNS, and responds to messages from the CNS to perform certain behaviours or make bodily adjustments  Divided into two primary components: o Somatic nervous system (SNS) o Autonomic nervous system (ANS) Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)  Somatic nervous system: o Concerned with the external environment o Controls functions that are under conscious, voluntary control (e.g., whenever you voluntarily move a muscle) o Consists primarily of motor neurons responsible for sending signals from the brain to the muscles  CNS  muscles/skin/joints (motor neurons; efferent pathway) o Also contains sensory neurons which send signals to the brain  Muscles/skin/joints  CNS (sensory neurons; afferent pathway)  Autonomic nervous system: o Concerned with the internal environment  Glands/internal organs  CNS (somatosensory neurons)  “Somatosensory”  sensations from within the body (E.g., Full bladder)  CNS  glands/internal organs o Two types of signals travel from the CNS to the glands/internal organs:  Sympathetic division  Parasympathetic division Sympathetic Division of the ANS  Prepares the body for action (“fight or flight”)  Can be activated by all kinds of things. Has evolved, not just wild animals. Parasympathetic Division of the ANS  Returns the body to its normal resting state (“rest and digest” or “feed and breed”)  Opposing functions of the sympathetic system, but the two systems work in a complementary (vs. antagonistic) fashion. 
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