Autonomic nervous system - Definition

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The autonomic nervous system, also called the neuro-vegetative, or simply vegetative system, encapsulates all nerve components enabling visceral organ function (kidneys, digestive system, circulatory system, and so on), along with regulating the automatic functions of the body, such as breathing, circulation, digestion and excretion, secretion from certain glands, and so on. The autonomic nervous system is divided into the parasympathetic and orthosympathetic (or sympathetic) nervous systems. These two elements either activate or inhibit effector cells for these functions by means of neurotransmitters.