How is cognitive control of micturition achieved?

Updated: Dec 06, 2018
  • Author: Bradley C Gill, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Answer

Cognitive control of micturition is achieved by communication from a number of brain structures to the periaqueductal gray matter, which then exerts control over the pontine micturition center to suppress or trigger a voiding reflex. Overall, the brain receives input via afferent pathways that ascend from the bladder and provide feedback on how full the bladder is. Higher brain centers then determine whether it is socially acceptable to void and trigger downstream structures to permit or suppress the voiding reflex.


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