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autonomic nervous system

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accommodation

accommodation  

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n. adjustment of the shape of the lens to change the focus of the eye. When the ciliary muscle (see ciliary body) is relaxed, suspensory ligaments attached to the ciliary body and holding the lens in ...
acetylcholine

acetylcholine  

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(ass-i-tyl-koh-leen)the acetic acid ester of the organic base choline: the neurotransmitter released at the synapses of parasympathetic nerves and at neuromuscular junctions. See also cholinesterase.
aura

aura  

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(or-ă)the forewarning of an attack, as occurs in epilepsy (e.g. as an odd smell or taste) and migraine (e.g. as flickering lights, blurring of vision, pins and needles).
autonomic arousal disorder

autonomic arousal disorder  

A disorder characterized by persistent or recurrent signs and symptoms mediated by the autonomic nervous system, excluding pain but including palpitation, hyperventilation, or nausea. It is not ...
biofeedback

biofeedback  

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n. the giving of immediate information to a subject about his or her bodily processes (such as heart rate), which are usually unconscious, by means of monitoring devices. This may enable some ...
bladder

bladder  

A bag in which metabolic products, or air, may be stored.
blood sugar

blood sugar  

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The concentration of glucose in the blood, normally expressed in millimoles per litre. The normal range is 3.5–5.5 mmol/l. Blood-sugar estimation is an important investigation in a variety of ...
blushing

blushing  

Uncontrollable reddening of the cheeks, and sometimes the ears and neck, is associated with embarrassment and guilt. Charles Darwin made the most interesting suggestion: that blushing is a warning ...
brachial plexus

brachial plexus  

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A network of nerves, arising from the spine at the base of the neck, from which arise the nerves supplying the arm, forearm and hand, and parts of the shoulder girdle. See also radial (nerve).
brain

brain  

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n. the enlarged and highly developed mass of nervous tissue that forms the upper end of the central nervous system (see illustration). The average adult human brain weighs about 1400 g (approximately ...
brainstem

brainstem  

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n. the enlarged extension upwards within the skull of the spinal cord, consisting of the medulla oblongata, the pons, and the midbrain. The pons and medulla are together known as the bulb, or bulbar ...
C fibre

C fibre  

A very small unmyelinated type of afferent nerve fibre with low conduction velocity (1 to 2 metres per second), found especially in the autonomic nervous system and in receptors for dull pain and ...
cardiac muscle

cardiac muscle  

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The specialized muscle of which the walls of the heart are composed. It is composed of a network of branching elongated cells (fibres) whose junctions with neighbouring cells are marked by irregular ...
catecholamine

catecholamine  

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(kat-ĕ-kol-ă-meenz)a group of physiologically important substances, including adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine, with different roles (mainly as neurotransmitters) in the functioning of the ...
central nervous system

central nervous system  

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(CNS) the brain and the spinal cord, as opposed to the cranial and spinal nerves and the autonomic nervous system, which together form the peripheral nervous system. The CNS is responsible for the ...
Claude Bernard

Claude Bernard  

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(1813–1878)French physiologist who formulated the principle of homeostasis, the physiological self-corrective mechanism that “automatically” seeks to restore the normal internal bodily environment ...
coccygeal nerve

coccygeal nerve  

Either of a pair of spinal nerves attached to the bottom of the spinal cord, serving the striped muscles, the skin, and the autonomic nervous system. [From Greek kokkyx the cuckoo, from the ...
ejaculation

ejaculation  

The propulsion of semen out of the erect penis due to powerful rhythmic contractions of the urethra. An ejaculation coincides with the peak of sexual excitement (orgasm) and is accompanied by various ...
fainting

fainting  

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Is a transient, reversible loss of consciousness due to an acute reduction in blood supply to the brain. Lack of cerebral perfusion for 2–3 sec can cause premonitory symptoms (such ...
fatal familial insomnia

fatal familial insomnia  

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An autosomal dominant disorder due to a mutation in the gene for the prion protein (PrP): it is an example of a spongiform encephalopathy. Patients present with intractable progressive insomnia, ...

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