|autonomic nervous system|
|Compare somatic nervous system the section of the nervous system of vertebrates that controls the involuntary actions of the smooth muscles, heart, and glands. It has two divisions: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic|
autonomic nervous system n.
The part of the nervous system that regulates involuntary action, as of the intestines, smooth muscle, heart, and glands, and that is divided into two physiologically and anatomically distinct, mutually antagonistic systems, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.
|autonomic nervous system (ô'tə-nŏm'ĭk) Pronunciation Key
The part of the vertebrate nervous system that regulates involuntary activity in the body by transmitting motor impulses to cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, and the glands. The muscular activity of the heart and of the circulatory, digestive, respiratory, and urogenital systems is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is divided into two parts: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.