BIOLOGY

VOLUNTARY ACTIONS

Voluntary actions
• All voluntary actions involve :  The brain (cerebrum )  The ascending interneurons and descending interneurons of the spinal cord and the motor neurons.

Nature of the control of action
• Involves thought and free will. • Allows us to consciously control our skeletal system.

Controlled by..
• Cerebrum ( fore-brain )  Coordinates incoming information and then initiate impulses which are sent to the effectors.  May spontaneously initiate actions without any sensory stimulation.

Parts of the nervous system involved
• Reflex arc structures. • Interneurones ( ascending & descending fibres ) in the spinal cord. • Always involve the cerebrum.

Role
• To respond with the benefit of experience.

Receptors involved
• An action may be initiated by the stimulation of a receptor; • or by the conscious will of the brain itself.

Inborn or learned actions
• Voluntary actions are learned.

Speed of action
• Voluntary actions are slow responses. • As the cerebrum needs time to “think” before an action is carried out. • Eg. ) if we want to ask question, we raise our hands.

Response to the stimulus
• The same stimulus may produce various responses. • Eg.) when you are hungry, you may decide to eat or not to eat, or just need to drink water.

Transmission of information in voluntary actions
Receptors: Eyes & ears Sensory (afferent) neurones Sensory areas of the cerebral cortex

Effector: Arm muscle contracts to raise arm

Motor (efferent) Neurones of the spinal nerve

Motor area of the Cerebral cortex

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