Anatomy & Physiology Nervous #5

Question

Which is the primary neurotransmitter for the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS)?

Answers

  1. Dopamine
    • Rationale:

      Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for how an individual feels pleasure; it is not the primary neurotransmitter for the PNS.

  2. Epinephrine
    • Rationale:

      Epinephrine is the primary neurotransmitter for the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) not the PNS. This neurotransmitter increases cardiac output and raises glucose levels in the blood to allow for the fight-or-flight response.

  3. Acetylcholine
    • Rationale:

      Acetylcholine is the primary neurotransmitter of the PNS. It impacts the blood vessels (e.g., dilation), bodily secretions (e.g., increases), contracts smooth muscles, and slows the heart rate.

  4. Norepinephrine
    • Rationale:

      Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that is important for attentiveness, dreams, emotions, education (e.g., learning) and sleep. It is not the primary neurotransmitter of the PNS.

Overview

The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is a branch of the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Stimulation of the PNS causes a rest-to-digest response in the body. This is caused by the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. The main function of the PNS is to slow down the activities of glands and muscles within the body.

Test Taking Tip

Think about the function of the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) when determining the correct choice for this question.

Video Rationale