Peripheral Nervous System

Human anatomy > Peripheral Nervous System

The human nervous system is composed of two main parts; namely, the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The central nervous system is comprised of the snail cord and the brain, while the peripheral nervous system is composed of nervous tissue connecting the central nervous system to the other parts of the body. The peripheral nervous system is responsible for relaying information and feedback to the central nervous system. The PNS is comprised of the autonomic nervous system and the somatic nervous system, each of which have different functions.

Peripheral Nervous System

The autonomic nervous system is also known as the visceral nervous system. It is responsible for automatically regulating the body’s internal controls, ensuring that it is functioning normally.  The autonomic nervous system is further divided into the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is comprised of the cranial nerves, while the sympathetic nervous system is responsible for regulating the body’s functions when the body is under stress.

All in all, the peripheral nervous system includes the spinal nerves, the roots, the cranial nerves, as well as the autonomic nerves. Autonomic nerves are responsible for controlling our bodies’ automatic systems, like the nerves that control the muscles lining our glands and blood vessels as well as the nerves that control our hearts. 

The autonomic nervous system relays information to and from the brain and the various automatic organs in the body. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating the body’s system, like when the cardiovascular system responds to different situations. It also regulates the production of digestive fluids and the actions of your sweat glands and other things to respond to a constantly changing environment. It also controls our bodies when they are at rest or when we are asleep.

The somatic system, on the other hand, includes the spinal and cranial nerves. These nerves transmit information to and from our external sensory organs and our muscular system. These nerves allow us to control our muscles, allowing us to move about and perform intricate actions and movements. This system is responsible for controlling our senses of sight, touch, sound, taste, and smell. It is also responsible for allowing us to feel sensory feedback like pain, temperature changes and our sense of balance. It also controls certain functions, such as when we blink our eyes.

The peripheral nervous system is essential to the human body. Without it, we cannot move our bodies or perceive the world we live in. Our bodies’ organs will also shut down, causing immediate death. Thus, it is necessary to take care of it. You can consult with a neurologist to see what you can do to keep your peripheral nervous system healthy.


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