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Autonomic nervous system
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls the conditions inside the body. It is sometimes called the 'visceral nervous system' or 'involuntary nervous system'. The ANS is part of the peripheral nervous system.
ANS controls all automatic actions. That means that it controls all reflexes and actions during sleep.
Most of its activities are done without the person having conscious control over them. The person usually cannot feel what the ANS is doing. However, some of the ANS's activities work together with the conscious mind, like breathing.
There are two different sections within the ANS:
- The sympathetic nervous system, which causes the body to become more active as in the "fight or flight" response.
- The parasympathetic nervous system, which is mostly involved in "rest and digest".
- Overview at arizona.edu
- ANS Medical Notes on rahulgladwin.com
- Explanations on the ANS by Dyansys, Inc.
- Michael D. Gershon 1998. The second brain. HarperCollins, New York.