Lecture 10: Autonomic Nervous System Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Lecture 10: Autonomic Nervous System Deck (13):

Name the main subdivisions of the ANS. Are these motor or sensory systems?

Is ANS is subdivided into the (ortho-)sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. Both are motor and sensory!


Where are the preganglionic neuron and the autonomic ganglia located?

The preganglionic neuron is part of the CNS while the autonomic ganglia are located in the PNS.


In how far do autonomic ganglia differ between the sympathetic and the parasympathetic system?

In the sympathetic system, autonomic ganglia are more proximal to the CNS, while parasympathetic autonomic ganglia are distal to the CNS, being located very closely to the organs they act upon.


The visceromotor system is involved in which functions?

It is involved in the execution (autonomic) functions mediated by the smooth muscles, cardiac muscles and gland cells.


Where are visceral motor neuron located? Which brain structures are mainly involved in their control and coordination?

Visceral motor neurons are located in the PNS. They are controlled by a network of cortical and subcortical areas including the prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus and amygdala.


Which parts of the spinal cord / brainstem are related to sympathetic and which to parasympathetic fibers?

Sympathetic: the whole thoracic division (T1-T12) and the upper lumbar division (L1-L3).

Parasympathetic: CN III, CN VII, CN IX, CN X and parts of the sacral division of the spinal cord (S2-S4).


Which neurotransmitters are associated with sympathetic and parasympathetic signal transmission?

The sympathetic transmission is mediated by acetylcholine as well as norepinephrine, while the parasympathetic transmission is mediated by only acetylcholine.


What are the functions of the viscerosensory system? Which nucleus of the brainstem is particularly important for this system?

Bodily feelings, regulation of visceral activity (reflex arcs via CNS), visceral pain. Particularly the nucleus solitarius is important for this system.


What is a special feature of the pituitary gland compared to all other parts of the brain? What is the reason for this speciality?

The hypophysis / pituitary gland is the only part of the brain that is not surrounded by the dura mater. This is related to its main function, to secrete hormones. The dura would prevent hormonal secretion to the body.


What are others names for the anterior and the posterior pituitary gland? Name respectively a function and a hormone related to these parts.

Anterior: adenohypophysis, e.g. related to prolactin production, necessary for breast milk production.
Posterior: neurohypophysis, e.g. related to vasopressin, associated with blood pressure enhancement.


Name some of the homeostatic functions of the hypothalamus.

Regulation of temperature, blood volume, blood pressure, oxygen concentration, glucose levels, ...


Which areas of the brain are (among others) controlled by the hypothalamus? Which functions are related with these areas?

Prefrontal cortex (cognition and behaviour), amygdala (emotions), hippocampus (learning and memory), central grey matter (fight or flight, etc.), reticular formation and spinal cord (autonomic functions).


The bodily responses, induced by the hypothalamus, can be divided into three categories. Name them.

(1) Humoral (pituitary hormones), (2) visceromotor (autonomic nervous system) and (3) somatomotor (behavioural response).