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The voluntary or somatic nervous system consists of the nerves connecting the brain and spinal cord to the skeletal muscles and sensory receptors in the skin, eyes, and ears. It is part of the peripheral nervous system that makes it possible to detect and interact with the world.

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1. Afferent and Efferent Nerves

The somatic nervous system is made of both afferent and efferent nerves. Sensory nerves are afferent ; these bring information from the periphery to the spinal cord and brain. Motor nerves are efferent, sending commands from the central nervous system out into the body to stimulate skeletal muscle contraction.

afferent efferent nerves 4X-image / Getty Images
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