2-Minute Neuroscience: Parasympathetic Nervous System

2-Minute Neuroscience: Parasympathetic Nervous System


The parasympathetic nervous system is a subdivision
of the autonomic nervous system, which is the subdivision of the peripheral nervous
system that controls automatic processes in the body like digestion, heart rate, and respiration. The parasympathetic nervous system is typically
associated with energy conservation and processes like digestion and elimination of waste products
from the body. Because of these functions, the parasympathetic
nervous system is sometimes referred to as the “rest and digest” system, although
this term is an oversimplification that does not accurately describe the full range of
activities of the parasympathetic nervous system. The nerves that make up the parasympathetic
nervous system originate in the brainstem and the sacral spinal cord. Like most other neurons of the autonomic nervous
system, they do not travel directly from the brainstem or spinal cord to their targets
but instead extend first to clusters of neurons known as ganglia. The parasympathetic ganglia are typically
found near or in the wall of the organs they supply. The neurons that travel from the brainstem
and spinal cord to the parasympathetic ganglia are called preganglionic neurons, and they
synapse with neurons in the ganglia called postganglionic neurons, which then extend
to the targets of the parasympathetic nervous system. The preganglionic and postganglionic neurons
of the parasympathetic nervous system primarily release the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. The preganglionic neurons that originate in
the brainstem arise from the cranial nerve nuclei for the oculomotor, facial, glossopharyngeal,
and vagus nerves. These preganglionic neurons travel with the
cranial nerves to provide parasympathetic innervation to the head and neck, but the
fibers that travel with the vagus nerve also supply the internal organs of the thorax and
abdomen. The preganglionic neurons that originate in
the sacral spinal cord come together to form the pelvic nerves, which supply the organs
of the pelvis.

5 comments on “2-Minute Neuroscience: Parasympathetic Nervous System

  1. freelocking Post author

    Thank you very much for your great work. Can you please make a video over overstimulation (email, news, social media, abundance of media and its consumption, and other common lifestyle habits like caffeine, sugar and alcohol)? I guess the body builds more dopamine receptors and thus destroys the reward cycle which numbs us and makes us unmotivated but I am sure you have much more to tell in a more founded way. I would appreciate it! Greetings

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *