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We regularly make conscious decisions to make specific muscular movements. For example, when using the touch interface of your phone, you make a conscious effort to scroll up and down the screen using your finger.

In contrast, there are many muscular movements that cannot be controlled voluntarily. For example, you cannot make your heart stop by thinking about it.

Which of the following statements correctly identifies the structures of the nervous system that are involved in triggering voluntary and involuntary actions, respectively?

Select one:
a. Motor neurons of the autonomic nervous system and sensory neurons of the somatic nervous system
b. Sensory neurons of the peripheral nervous system and motor neurons of the autonomic nervous system
c. Motor neurons of the somatic nervous system and motor neurons of the autonomic nervous system
d. Sensory neurons of the somatic nervous system and sensory neurons of the autonomic nervous system

6 months ago

Answered By Arsalan Q

This question seems daunting at first but is easy to understand once all the vocabulary is made clear.

First off, the autonomic nervous system is always for unconscious activities, and the somatic is for conscious activities. The way I remember this is that autonomic sounds like automatic, and your nervous system does these actions automatically.

Next, the phrasing of the question mentions the word "triggering" this is synonymous with the way effectors are triggered within the reflex arc that is caused exclusively by motor neurons. Additionally, the word "actions" is in reference to a type of response caused by motor neurons in the reflex arc. Therefore, we're talking only about motor neurons and not sensory neurons

Motor neurons are found in both the somatic and autonomic nervous systems. So our answer should reflect that. And again, voluntary is somatic, involuntary is autonomic. Based on just that we can rule out A and B. and then finally since actions can only be triggered by motor neurons, the answer cannot be D because it mentions sensory neurons. Therefore our answer is D

Your takeaway from this question should be that motor neurons trigger actions whereas sensory neurons simply perceive stimuli; and that the autonomic nervous system deals with unconscious involuntary activities and the somatic deals with conscious voluntary activities

Hope this helped :)


6 months ago

Answered By Arsalan Q

Small typo in my response, the answer is C not D because we already ruled D out as a possibility. The final answer should be C, my apologies :)