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Central Regulation of Autonomic Functions$
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Ida J. Llewellyn-Smith and Anthony J. M. Verberne

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306637

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306637.001.0001

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Central Autonomic Pathways

Central Autonomic Pathways

(p.3) 1 Central Autonomic Pathways
Central Regulation of Autonomic Functions

J. Patrick Card

Alan F. Sved

Oxford University Press

The integrated control of physiological function of organ systems and tissues requires dynamic and responsive neural circuits. The brain controls adaptive changes in physiology through the sympathetic and parasympathetic subdivisions of the autonomic nervous system, each of which is responsive to sensory feedback from the periphery. The preautonomic circuitry in the central nervous system is organized in a hierarchical manner that permits (1) reflex control over individual autonomic targets, (2) integrated control over multiple targets, and (3) the essential regulatory capacity to match autonomic adjustments to homeostatic and behavioral challenges. This chapter provides an overview of the means through which this regulatory circuitry exerts homeostatic control over peripheral physiology.

Keywords:   sympathetic, parasympathetic, preautonomic circuits, visceral reflex, hypothalamus, brainstem

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