What is autonomic nervous system?

  • (noun): The part of the nervous system of vertebrates that controls involuntary actions of the smooth muscles and heart and glands.
    Synonyms: ANS

Autonomic Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system (ANS or visceral nervous system or involuntary nervous system) is the part of the peripheral nervous system that acts as a control system functioning largely below the level of consciousness, and controls visceral functions. The ANS affects heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, salivation, perspiration, pupillary dilation, micturition (urination), and sexual arousal. Most autonomous functions are involuntary but a number of ANS actions can work alongside some degree of conscious control. Everyday examples include breathing, swallowing, and sexual arousal, and in some cases functions such as heart rate.

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Some articles on autonomic nervous system:

Stephen Porges - The Polyvagal Theory
... The Polyvagal Theory introduces a new perspective relating autonomic function to behavior that includes an appreciation of the autonomic nervous system as a "system ... explanations, and conclusions regarding the role that autonomic function has in the regulation of affective states and social behavior ... The theory emphasizes the phylogenetic emergence of two vagal systems a potentially lethal ancient circuit involved in defensive strategies of immobilization (e.g ...
Autonomic Networking - Autonomic Nervous System
... The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is the part of the nervous system of the higher life forms that is not consciously controlled ... As proposed by IBM, future communication systems might be designed in a similar way to the ANS ...
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome - Treatment - Medications
... of epinephrine and norepinephrine released by the Autonomic Nervous System ... In addition, beta blockers reduce Sympathetic Nervous System activity by blocking Sympathetic impulses ... (Lexapro), and paroxetine (Paxil), can be extremely effective in re-regulating the autonomic nervous system and raising blood pressure ...

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