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Ch 10: The Peripheral Nervous System

About This Chapter

The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is the nervous system that isn't in the brain or spinal cord, which make up the central nervous system. Learn more about the PNS by watching the short lessons in this chapter.

The Peripheral Nervous System - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

The peripheral nervous system in humans accounts for the nerves and ganglia that aren't part of the brain or the spinal cord. It plays an essential role in communicating information and stimulus from the outside world to your brain, so you can react to it. In some cases, it will react immediately, responding the stimulus before your brain has a chance to register it like when you step on a tack. Learn about these topics and more by reading and watching the lessons in this chapter. Among other topics, we'll explore the following:

  • Identifying components of the peripheral nervous system
  • Breaking down the different receptors such as the chemoreceptors, mechanoreceptors, and thermoreceptors
  • Explaining the role of specialized nervous systems, like the sympathetic, parasympathetic, and autonomic nervous systems

11 Lessons in Chapter 10: The Peripheral Nervous System
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Peripheral Nervous System: Definition, Function & Parts

1. Peripheral Nervous System: Definition, Function & Parts

The human nervous system is very complex with many interactive units that are changing constantly to reflect human behavior and activity. This lesson focuses on the peripheral nervous system, including its function and parts.

Somatic Nervous System: Definition, Function & Example

2. Somatic Nervous System: Definition, Function & Example

One of the most complex systems in the body is the nervous system. In this lesson, you will learn about the somatic nervous system and how important it is to body functions. Examples and illustrations will be provided to assist your understanding of the lesson.

Chemoreceptors: Definition, Location & Function

3. Chemoreceptors: Definition, Location & Function

In this lesson, we'll discuss how the cells in our bodies use chemoreceptors to detect chemicals in the environment. We'll look at where chemoreceptors are located and how they work to help us taste, smell, and breathe. Then you can test your new knowledge with a short quiz!

Mechanoreceptors: Definition & Function

4. Mechanoreceptors: Definition & Function

How does the nervous system detect touch and communicate touch signals to the brain? Learn how mechanoreceptors function, the different types of mechanoreceptors, and what each type does.

Thermoreceptors: Definition & Function

5. Thermoreceptors: Definition & Function

Our senses are necessary for detecting changes in the environment. Temperature is an environmental factor that changes frequently, and our bodies have to be able to detect these changes. This article discusses thermoreceptors and their function in detecting temperature.

Somatic Sensory Pathways

6. Somatic Sensory Pathways

How does information travel between body and brain? In this lesson, we'll explore somatic sensory pathways, including ascending and descending tracts, afferent and efferent nerves, and how they work together in the body.

Dorsal Root Ganglion: Function & Definition

7. Dorsal Root Ganglion: Function & Definition

All along our spinal cord, we have specialized nerves that send and receive messages to and from various parts of our body. There are particular nerve cell clusters called dorsal root ganglia that are present in the root of these spinal nerves. In this lesson, we'll discuss the function and definition of a dorsal root ganglion.

Autonomic Nervous System: Function, Definition & Divisions

8. Autonomic Nervous System: Function, Definition & Divisions

In this lesson we'll learn the definition of 'autonomic nervous system.' The lesson explores the system's function and gives an overview of the divisions that comprise the system. A short quiz will follow.

The Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems

9. The Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems

In this lesson, you'll learn about two subdivisions of the autonomic nervous system - the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Watch as a hiker, Phil, runs away from a terrifying bear and see how these systems react to the impending danger!

Positive and Negative Feedback in the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System

10. Positive and Negative Feedback in the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System

In this lesson, you'll study positive and negative feedback in the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. You'll also learn why we have a fight or flight instinct and how it works.

Acetylcholine: Definition, Function & Deficiency Symptoms

11. Acetylcholine: Definition, Function & Deficiency Symptoms

In this lesson, you will learn about acetylcholine, a chemical messenger that causes our skeletal muscles to contract and regulates our endocrine system. You'll find out how acetylcholine works and how a deficiency in this chemical can lead to serious medical conditions.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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