How does central nervous system control of skeletal muscle differ control of cardiac and smooth muscle?
ANSWER: Skeletal muscle is under the control of somatic nervous system. It involves both afferent and efferent pathways. Efferent signals originate at the cerebral cortex as a consious decision and activate neurons in the brainstem. Efferent axons are myelinated. Neuromuscular junction are specific and localised. Target organs are always stimulated by its action.
Smooth and cardiac muscle is under the control of autonomic nervous system which has only efferent pathway. Unconscious signals originate in the hypothalamus, brainstem and spinal cord and activate the target neurons that lie in the peripheral nervous system. In the efferent system, postsynaptic axons are myelinated and presynaptic axons are non myelinated. Synapses at the target organs for the axons of the ANS may be different. ANS uses several neurotransmitter molecule.
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