visceral afferent fibers

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visceral afferent fibers

the nerve fibers of the visceral nervous system that receive stimuli, carry impulses toward the central nervous system, and share the sensory ganglia of the cerebrospinal nerves with the somatic sensory fibers. Peripheral distribution of the visceral afferent fibers constitutes the main difference between them and the somatic afferents. The visceral afferent fibers produce sensations different from those of the somatic afferent fibers. The visceral efferent fibers connect with both the somatic and visceral afferent fibers. The number and extent of the visceral afferent fibers is not clearly established. Their peripheral processes reach the ganglia by various routes. Most of the visceral afferent fibers accompany blood vessels for part of their course, and various afferent fibers run in the cerebrospinal nerves. Some of the parts of the body with visceral afferent fibers are the face, scalp, nose, mouth, descending colon, lungs, abdomen, and rectum. See also autonomic nervous system.