The Body's Response to Stress

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  • Immediate stressors arouse the autonomic nervous system - it governs itself.
  • Some bodily responses may not work as well as they need to if you had to think about them.
  • ANS divided into the sympathetic branch and the parasympathetic branch. 
  • SNS arouses someone to be ready for fight or flight, parasympathetic branch returns the animal to a state of relaxation.
  • When exposed to a stressor, the SNS is activated, preparing the body for fight or flight. 
  • SNS and SAM system make up the SYMPATHOMEDULLARY PATHWAY.
  • The SNS
  • Neurones from the SNS travel to every organ and gland, preparing the body for fight or flight.
  • Responses include an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and increased pupil size and metabolic changes such as the mobilisation of fat and glycogen.
  • Noradrenaline is the NEUROTRANSMITTER released by SNS to activate these internal body organs.
  • The SAM system
  • When the SNS is activated, the SAM alerts the animal through the release of adrenaline into bloodstream where it is transported rapidly


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