Somatic Nervous System

(redirected from somatic nerve)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.

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.

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.


References in periodicals archive ?
In this regard, the aim of our work was the study of the influence of hyaluronic acid on the changes in lipid composition and the state of cell membranes in degenerative processes in rats' somatic nerves.
(6) Some authors have postulated that the pain is caused by the compression of the somatic nerves that accompany the blood vessels within the tumor.
The present study indicates a possible growth delay on the phrenic nerves compared to other somatic nerves, since the sural nerve of these animals grew more rapidly between 30 and 90 days, reaching adult values on animals aged 180 days.