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"A reflex action, also known as a reflex, is an involuntary and nearly instantaneous movement in response to a stimulus."
There are many reflexes only observed in human infants. As they age they should grow out of them.
- Asymmetrical tonic neck reflex- (also known as the fencing reflex)-when the face is turned to one side, the arm and leg on the side to which the face is turned extend and the arm and leg on the opposite side bend.
- Grasp reflex- when an object is placed in the infant's hand and strokes their palm, the fingers will close and they will grasp it.
- Moro reflex- ( also known as the startle reflex)-when the body contracts in response to loud noises or sudden movements.
- Sucking- when an item is placed by the infants mouth it will begin sucking on it.
- Tonic labyrinthine reflex- when the head of the infant is tilted back while he/she is lying on his/her back. This causes the back to stiffen and even arch backwards, causes the legs to straighten, stiffen, and push together, causes the toes to point, causes the arms to bend at the elbows and wrists, and causes the hands to become fisted or the fingers to curl.
Reflexes are involuntary (or automatic) and we are born with many of them. The purpose of reflexes is for protection.
Blinking is one example of a reflex. If something flies towards your eyes, like a particle of dust, you will blink. This is the way that the body is protecting itself from damage occurring in the eye.
Another example of a reflex is when you go to the doctor for a physical and he performs a patellar tendon reflex test. This is when he taps the knee to see if your knee jerks. The doctor is really checking to see if your nervous system is working properly.
Reflex actions are automatic or involuntary movement of living organisms provoked by a sensory stimulus. For example, will if a person accidentally touches a very hot object, he or she will jerk away without thinking about what action to take. Reflex actions aer of two types - unconditioned reflexes and conditioned reflexes. The unconditioned reflex are the reflexes that are part of the basic bodily functions which are not dependent on individuals past experiences with a particular type of stimulus. For example the pupil of our eyes automatically expand in darkness and contract in light.
Conditioned reflexes, in contrast are reflexes, which an individual learns from previous experiences with similar stimulus. These reflexes work by individuals learning to associated the stimulus with something else. For example, a dog may begin to salivate with smell of food because the dog has learnt to associate the smell with the food.
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