Lv 5
Ally asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 1 decade ago

Reflexes: How they work?

What are the main points/steps of how a reflex works?

Would it start with a stimulus (being the cause), then a response would occur (effect), sort of like a cause and effect thing. But I need to know like in depth step by step how a reflex occurs, so could someone please explain?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    You have it basically down.

    A reflex is a response to a stimulus that doesn't require higher integration. The most common example is the knee-jerk reflex, as you've probably heard and experienced. In this case, the stimulus is the tap on the knee -> this triggers stretch receptors in the muscle fiber to fire APs -> the signal reaches the spinal cord -> interneurons relay the signal to two different motor neurons: 1) inhibits the contraction of the opposing muscle fiber 2) contracts the muscle that was stretched, and you kick out. As you can see, there wasn't any processing in the cortex, just the spinal cord.

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  • 1 decade ago

    There will be a stimulus, which affects the motor nerve. The motor nerves in turn proceeds to give the information of the stimulus to the spinal cord / brain. The brain sends a response through the effector nerves, which bring about the effect.

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  • ND DVM
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    In reflexes, the sensory (receiving) neuron connects directly to the motor (action) neuron in the spinal cord. That's why you can pull your hand away from a stove burner before you have even "realized" that it is hot. The message does get to the brain eventually for interpretation, but your body has already been protected from damage by withdrawing.

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