Exercise 20 The Autonomic Nervous System

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Sympathetic and parasympathetic fibers serve the same organs and structures. How can they exert opposite effects?

They release different neurotransmitters, which bind to different receptors.


Name 3 structures that receive sympathetic but not parasympathetic innervation.

- Adrenal glands
- Arrector pilli muscles
- Sweat glands


A pelvic splanchnic nerve contains

preganglionic parasympathetic fibers



- postganglionic fibers secrete norepinephrine; adrenergic fiber

- short preganglionic axon; long postganglionic axon

- arises from spinal nerves T1-L3

- "Fight-or-flight" system



- postganglionic fibers secrete acetylcholine; cholinergic fiber

- long preganglionic axon; short postganglionic axon

- arises from cranial and sacral nerves

- normally in control

- has more specific control


Describe how EDA/GSR can be correlated with activity of the autonomic nervous system.

The autonomic nervous system is integrated by emotions (stress, pain, feelings). These changes change heart, respiration, blood pressure, & more changes occur in the skin. All these can be measured by GSR since it is measurement of changes in skin due to autonomic stimulation.


Why might this be an exact tool for testing the sincerity and honesty of a subject?

Its failure rate is far too high to provide the scientific or legal certainty. If it is based on skin and emotional changes, people feel different on different topics/subjects so it could give a false reading.

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