peripheral nervous system (PNS)

Figure 1: The sites of the main nerve centres and descending pathways in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary movement, represented in diagrammatic sections.
Figure 2: Efferent nerve pathways from the brainstem and spinal cord. Shown on the right: somatic, to skeletal muscles. Shown on the left: autonomic. B brain stem, C cervical, T thoracic, L lumbar, S sacral segments of the spinal cord. (Red shaded regions are those with no autonomic outflow.)

peripheral nervous system (PNS)

all nerve cells and fibres that are outside the central nervous system (CNS, the brain and spinal cord) and which connect all parts of the body with the CNS. Includes the somatic nervous system - the nerves to skeletal muscles and from neural receptors in the musculoskeletal system and the skin, and the autonomic nervous system which controls the functions of the organs, the glands and the cardiovascular system via the outgoing nerves of its two divisions, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system; together with their associated visceral afferents. See Figure 1 - Figure 2.
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