Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Parasympathetic Division

One of the two divisions of the autonomic nervous system. The parasympathetic division arises from the brain and the sacral region of the spinal cord and consists of those nerve fibers that are involved with involuntary functions and in basic maintenance of the organism; colloquially referred to as the rest and repair division. The parasympathetic division innervates the same effectors as the sympathetic division, but the effects are generally antagonistic.

Cf. sympathetic nervous system.

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