MCAT Biology : Somatic and Autonomic Divisions

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for MCAT Biology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Somatic And Autonomic Divisions

Efferent neurons carry information in what direction?

Possible Answers:

From the brain to the spinal cord

From afferent neurons to the central nervous system (CNS)

From the central nervous system (CNS) to afferent neurons

From the peripheral nervous system (PNS) to the central nervous system (CNS)

From the central nervous system (CNS) to the peripheral nervous system (PNS)

Correct answer:

From the central nervous system (CNS) to the peripheral nervous system (PNS)

Explanation:

Efferent neurons carry information from the central nervous system (CNS) to the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Afferent neurons carry information from the peripheral nervous system to the central nervous system.

In general, afferet neurons will relay sensory information about the environment (both internal and external), carrying these signals from the periphery to the central nervous system for integration and interpretation in the brain. Efferent neurons, in contrast, will carry motor signals or other internal stimuli to respond to the sensory information provided.

Example Question #2 : Somatic And Autonomic Divisions

The amygdala is located in which part of the brain?

Possible Answers:

Brain stem

Corpus collosum

Temporal lobe

Cerebellum

Correct answer:

Temporal lobe

Explanation:

The amygdala is responsible for emotional memory and is part of the limbic system, which is located in the temporal lobe.

Example Question #191 : Systems Biology And Tissue Types

Under which division of the nervous system does the "fight or flight" impulse originate?

Possible Answers:

Parasympathetic division

Autonomic division

Central nervous system

Sensory division

Somatic division

Correct answer:

Autonomic division

Explanation:

The nervous system is divided into the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous system (all other nerves). The peripheral nervous system is then divided into the sensory and motor divisions. Then, the motor division is further divided into the somatic and autonomic divisions. The autonomic division is then divided into the parasympathetic ("rest and digest") and sympathetic ("fight or flight") divisions.

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