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Chapter: Medical Physiology: The Autonomic Nervous System and the Adrenal Medulla

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Relation of Stimulus Rate to Degree of Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Effect

A special difference between the autonomic nervous system and the skeletal nervous system is that only a low frequency of stimulation is required for full activation of autonomic effectors.

Relation of Stimulus Rate to Degree of Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Effect

A special difference between the autonomic nervous system and the skeletal nervous system is that only a low frequency of stimulation is required for full activation of autonomic effectors. In general, only one nerve impulse every few seconds suffices to maintain normal sympathetic or parasympathetic effect, and full activation occurs when the nerve fibers discharge 10 to 20 times per second. This compares with full activation in the skeletal nervous system at 50 to 500 or more impulses per second.


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