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Somatic Nervous System
The somatic nervous system is one of the two divisions of the peripheral nervous system (the other one being the autonomic nervous system). The somatic nervous system innervates and controls skeletal muscle and consists of the motor and sensory divisions. The motor division only contains motor neurons, which carry signals away from the central nervous system and to the effector skeletal muscle. These always use the acetylcholine neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction and exit the spinal cord from the front (ventral) side. The cell bodies of the motor neurons begin in the spinal cord and a single axon travels and ends up at the effector muscle. The sensory division consists of sensory neurons that accept electrical signals from environmental stimuli and send these signals to the central nervous system. They enter the spinal cord from the back side (dorsal side). The cell bodies of sensory neurons are located in the back of the spinal cord, in a region called the dorsal root ganglia. The somatic nervous system also controls the simple reflex arc. There are two types of simple reflec arcs - monosynaptic (only one synapse) and polysynaptic arcs (more than one synapse).
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