Baroreceptor Reflex

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Baroreceptors located In the carotid sinus and the arch of the aorta respond to increases in blood pressure. Increased blood pressure stretches the carotid arteries and aorta causing the baroreceptors to increase their basal rate of action potential generation. Action potentials are conducted by the glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves to the cardioregulatory and vasomotor centers in the medulla oblongata. As a result of increased stimulation from the baroreceptors, the cardloregulatory center increases parasympathetic stimulation to the heart, which decreases the heart rate. Also, as a result of the increased stimulation from the baroreceptors, the cardiovascular center decreases sympathetic stimulation to the heart, which decreases heart rate and stroke volume. The vasomotor center decreases sympathetic stimulation to blood vessels, causing vasodilation. The vasodilation, along with the decreased heart rate and decreased stroke volume bring the elevated blood pressure back toward normal.

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