Vomiting is a generally unpleasant activity that results in the expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth. It is a physical act that has clearly associated gastrointestinal motor activity. Nausea, on the other hand, although frequently accompanying vomiting, is not universally associated with it and does not have an obvious physical mechanism. It is an uncomfortable feeling known to be relieved by vomiting.

The ability to vomit presumably conveys a survival advantage by enabling the expulsion of toxins from the stomach. Vomiting occurs after stimulation of either the vomiting center (VC), a central “control center” in the medulla near the respiratory center, or the chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ) in the area postrema on the floor of the fourth ventricle (Fig. 1). These coordination centers can be stimulated through multiple pathways. Vomiting resulting from psychological stress occurs via pathways traveling through the cerebral cortex and limbic system to the VC....

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