Effector systems: what they are, their type and how they work in the human body

The human body is a complex organism, made up of a large number of mechanisms responsible for its proper functioning at all times. Among these mechanisms, there are some that have to do with how we react to the environment.

Therefore, we react very similarly to certain situations; for example when faced with a threatening situation, the most common is that evasion is the general response. The effector systems are responsible for some of our body’s involuntary responses.

In this article we will see what are the characteristics of effector systems, what types exist and the areas of the human body in which they are involved.

    What are effector systems?

    The effector systems are networks of nerve cells throughout the body that are set up to secrete certain types of substances in the organism according to the stimuli that it receives, independent if they are from the external environment (environment) or the internal environment.

    these systems they are configured in a pyramidal or hierarchical mannerThis means that in order for the final effect to take place, a series of chain reactions must take place in the body, starting with the segregation of substances.

    For example, in the case of the motor system, it is made up of neural circuits and muscles that respond to signals (electrical phenomena) from the central nervous system.

    Types of effector systems

    In the human body there are a variety of effector organs which are responsible for shaping a variety of responses in the body, depending on the type of effector organ that I acted upon by secreting its particular substance.

    Basically, effector systems can be classified into two types, glands (those which secrete the substance) and muscles (those which perform the action). From this arises a huge amount of possibilities.

    Since we have an enormous amount of effector glands and around 639 muscles in the human body, the effects and responses that our body is configured to give at times are immeasurable.

    Endocrine and exocrine cells

    There are two types of primary cells in the effector systems, which are endocrine glands and exocrine glands. The former are responsible for releasing hormones into the bloodstream to affect target organs, and the latter are responsible for releasing substances in specific channels that direct them to adjacent organs or the environment, outside of the body. ‘organization.

    Almost all of these glands are under the control of the central nervous system, specifically of the autonomic nervous system.

      Types of muscles involved

      As for the muscles, they also have a division that determines their functions.

      First we have striated and smooth muscles. The former, also known as skeletal muscles, are responsible for the motor skills of the skeleton, as they are attached to the bone structure by tendons. These muscles are controlled by the somatic central nervous system, which means that their actions are controlled by the will of the individual.

      The second type of muscle is responsible for everything related to the movement of internal organs. This second category of muscles is controlled by the autonomic central nervous system and unlike striated muscles they cannot be controlled at will.

      Movements associated with the reaction

      As we have seen, synthetically we can say that the effector systems are holistic processes of the central nervous system, which depend on secretory glands of substances and striated smooth muscles to perform the movements.

      On the other hand, the human body is in constant motion, whether it is voluntary or involuntary movements. All of these processes depend on the functions of the effector systems, and there are several areas of motor skills that must be considered separately.

      1. Reflex movements

      These are all the movements that we do directly before first contact with an environmental stimulusThese movements cannot be deleted on purpose.

      In this type of movement, the neuron synchronizes directly with the motor neuron without going through the most complex pyramidal processes.

      2. Voluntary movements

      These are the movements that we make with a consciously established goal. They occur throughout the complex pyramidal process of the effector systems. They require advance planning.

      On the other hand, this type of movement it improves with the practice of the subject, through the processes of machine learning. For example, driving a car, swimming or riding a bicycle are activities that require a large number of voluntary movements coordinated with each other.

      3. Pyramid movements

      These are not involuntary movements, but neither are they voluntary. This type of movement is what we do when we are doing a voluntary activity and in the background our body needs other movements for more comfort and support for what is done more carefully.

      For example, when we walk our arms move in an extra pyramidal fashion, or when a batsman sells the bat and his feet spin, these are all movements that our system makes to help execute the action we are performing.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Schatzberg AF, Nemeroff, CS (2006). Treatise on psychopharmacology. Elsevier.
      • Akins, C .; Klein, E. (2002). Imitative learning of the Japanese quail through a bidirectional control procedure. Learning and behavior of animals. 30 (3): 275-281.

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