The Nervous System

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  • The Nervous System (NS)
    • Reasons for responses
      • To be able to suitable react to the constant changes in their internal & external environment
      • E.G. escape predators, homeostasis etc.
    • Somatic & Autonomic
      • Somatic
        • Motor neurones carry impulses to skeletal muscles
        • Under voluntary (conscious) control
      • Autonomic
        • Role: independent of conscious control in order to control homeostatic mechanisms & stress response
        • Structure: 2 neurones connecting the CNS to effectors => pre-ganglionic neurone & post-ganglionic neurone
        • Most made of non-mylienated neurones
    • Parasympathetic & Sympathetic
      • Parasympathetic
        • Most active during sleep & rest
        • Brings about decreased heart rate & breathing rate, pupil constriction, decreased sexual arousal
      • Sympathetic
        • Most active in times of stress
        • Brings about increased heart & breathing rate, pupil dilation, increased sexual arousal & orgasm
      • Antagonistic systems
      • Both systems are stimulated all the time but the balance of the stimulation alters depending on the situation

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