Somatic Nervous System: Controlling Voluntary Movements and Sensing External Stimuli.

Somatic nervous system:

part of the peripheral nervous system that regulates activities over which there is voluntary control. (walking, talking, riding a bike)

The somatic nervous system is a part of the peripheral nervous system that is responsible for controlling voluntary movements and sensing external stimuli in the body. It is responsible for the control of skeletal muscles and the reception of sensory information.

The somatic nervous system is made up of sensory neurons, motor neurons and interneurons. The sensory neurons transmit information about temperature, touch, pressure, pain, and other sensations from the body’s sense organs to the brain and spinal cord. The motor neurons transmit signals from the brain and spinal cord to the skeletal muscles, which then contract and produce movement.

The somatic nervous system also plays a crucial role in the body’s reflex actions. A reflex is an automatic response to stimuli that doesn’t require the involvement of the brain. For example, if we touch a hot object, we will instinctively withdraw our hand. This reflex action is controlled by specific circuits within the spinal cord, which bypass the brain altogether.

Overall, the somatic nervous system plays a critical role in the control of our voluntary movements and the detection of external stimuli in the body. It is one of the two main divisions of the peripheral nervous system, with the other being the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling involuntary body functions such as heart rate and digestion.

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