Sympathomedullary Pathway

  • Created by: 217517
  • Created on: 14-03-15 19:00


Situation is appraised and perceived as a threat.

1 of 8


Hypothalamus is alerted. This recognises the stress is acute so it activates the Sympathomedullary (SAM) Pathway.

2 of 8


This activates the sympathetic branch of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).

3 of 8


This then stimulates the adrenal medulla which is part of the adrenal gland. These are located just above the kidneys.

4 of 8


The adrenal medulla secretes the hormones adrenalin and noradrenalin into the bloodstream.

5 of 8


This prepares the body for fight or flight and as such causes a number of physical changes, including increased respiration rate, increased alertness and pupil dilation.

6 of 8


The body cannot maintain this increased level of activity for long periods of time, as it takes too much energy. After a few minutes/when the stressor has been dealt with, the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system is activated.

7 of 8


This is a countershock response and serves to return the body back to its normal resting state (e.g. Reduces heart rate and breathing rate).

8 of 8


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Stress resources »