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Sympathetic Nervous System

  1. Karen S. Quigley

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0969

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Quigley, K. S. 2010. Sympathetic Nervous System. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Department of Veterans Affairs New Jersey Healthcare System, East Orange, NJ, and

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

Abstract

The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is one of the divisions of the autonomic nervous system that controls the function of organs and glands in the body (efferent portion) and senses changes in these visceral systems (afferent portion). The other division of the autonomic nervous system is the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The neurons comprising the efferent SNS arise from the thoracic and lumbar portions of the spinal cord (with the SNS also called the thoracolumbar division). Sympathetic fibers originating from the thoracic cord innervate organs of the head, neck, chest, and upper abdomen. Sympathetic fibers originating from the lumbar cord innervate the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract and organs of the pelvis.

Keywords:

  • autonomic nervous system;
  • central nervous system;
  • parasympathetic nervous system;
  • peripheral nervous system;
  • enteric nervous system