Somatic Nervous System

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somatic nervous system

[sō′mad·ik ′nər·vəs ‚sis·təm]
The portion of the nervous system concerned with the control of voluntary muscle and relating the organism with its environment.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Somatic Nervous System


the part of the nervous system that innervates the muscles of the body and makes sensory and motor functions possible. In vertebrates, somatic muscles include the striated muscles of the skeleton, which are innervated by the motoneurons of the anterior horns of the spinal cord and by some motor nuclei of the brainstem. These motoneurons are coordinated by direct or indirect (through interneurons) synaptic influences that come from other motoneurons, from sensory neurons that obtain information from muscles and tendons, and from the higher motor centers situated in various parts of the brain. The division of the nervous system into the somatic and visceral systems, introduced by the British physiologist W. H. Gaskell, is very arbitrary. Both terms are only of historical interest, and their use in scientific literature is decreasing.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Paralysis is complete loss or impairment of ability to use voluntary muscles due to nervine disorders.
Locked-in syndrome is a condition in which a patient is aware and awake but cannot move or communicate verbally due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles. it is a result of a stroke in the brain stem.
Review articles address the flexing of voluntary muscles in such contexts as disease and rehabilitation, rather than, for example, biochemistry or genetics.
Moran suffers from Benign Fasciculation Syndrome which is a neurological disorder characterised by the twitching of various voluntary muscles in the body.
ALS is a progressive neuromuscular disorder that affects primarily voluntary muscles. Consequently, the muscles become progressively weaker.
ALS is a disease that destroys the nerve cells controlling voluntary muscles and eventually leads to lung and breathing complications.
A MND is a disease that affects the muscles that we use to move (known as voluntary muscles).
The disease causes weakness and atrophy of the voluntary muscles, more commonly in the legs than in the arms.
"This auto-immune disease affects all voluntary muscles in the body and can cause disability and in extreme cases can prove fatal."
It occurs virtually instantly and only in groups of voluntary muscles, unlike rigor mortis, which progresses evenly throughout the body at a steady rate.
"This autoimmune disease affects all voluntary muscles in the body."
2175, a child is alive if it "breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut, and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction [from the mother] occurs as a result Of natural or induced labor, Caesarean section or induced abortion.'
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