Introduction: The ANS is the part of the nervous system that supplies the internal organs and structures, including the blood vessels, stomach, intestine, liver, kidneys, bladder, genitals, lungs, pupils, heart, and sweat, salivary, and digestive glands. Two divisions of ANS (the sympathetic and parasympathetic) have opposite functions. As we learned, the sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for intense physical activity and is often referred to as the fight-or-flight response. The parasympathetic nervous system has almost the exact opposite effect, relaxes the body, and is often referred to as the rest-and-digest response.

For this post, you will:

  1. Choose an organ in the body that has autonomic innervation.
  2. Next, describe how the organ you have chosen is affected by one of the two divisions of the ANS. Is it stimulated? Inhibited? Which part of the organ is affected? Do not do both divisions of the ANS.
  3. Identify the location and neurotransmitters of the preganglionic and postganglionic neurons that innervate the organ you chose from the division (sympathetic or parasympathetic) you chose.
  4. Would your organ be controlled through a gray ramus communicans, splanchnic nerve, cranial nerve, or sacral spinal nerve?
  5. Describe a situation, like a car crash, that increases or decreases the activity of your organ, and explain the effect that situation would have on your organ. Compare that effect to normal basal levels of your organ’s activity. Explain how the change(s) in the activity of the organ of your choice might be perceived, if at all. Other situations could include a job interview, relaxing on a beach, encountering a growling dog while walking outside, jumping out of the way of an oncoming vehicle, getting a massage, feeling unsafe while walking down a dark street at night.

This is a first come first serve choice, so please review the previous postings to choose your organ. If one student chooses an organ like the eye, then only the regulation by either the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous system should be discussed. One organ per student. Duplications are not allowed, and such postings will be deleted by the instructor.