Parasympathetic nervous system

From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is a stub and thus not approved.
Main Article
Talk
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
 
This editable Main Article is under development and not meant to be cited; by editing it you can help to improve it towards a future approved, citable version. These unapproved articles are subject to a disclaimer.

The parasympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system.

The autonomic nervous system
Blue = parasympathetic
Red = sympathetic

Functions

  • Dilates blood vessels leading to the GI tract, increasing blood flow. This is important following the consumption of food, due to the greater metabolic demands placed on the body by the gut.
  • The parasympathetic nervous system can also constrict the bronchiolar diameter when the need for oxygen has diminished.
  • During accommodation, the parasympathetic nervous system causes constriction of the pupil and lens.
  • The parasympathetic nervous system stimulates salivary gland secretion, and accelerates peristalsis, so, in keeping with the rest and digest functions, appropriate parasympathetic nervous system activity mediates digestion of food and indirectly, the absorption of nutrients.
  • Is also involved in erection of genitals, via the pelvic splanchnic nerves 2–4.

Anatomy

Ganglia

Ganglia include the "ciliary, pterygopalatine, submandibular, and otic ganglia in the cranial region and intrinsic (terminal) ganglia associated with target organs in the thorax and abdomen."[1]

References

  1. Anonymous. Ganglia, Parasympathetic. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved on 2008-01-22.


See also