Distinguish between somatic and visceral reflexes.

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chickflik999 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The somatic nervous system is part of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Somatic reflexes involve a skeletal muscle contracting in response to a stimuli.  These reflexes are controlled by the spinal chord, which means the reflex happens before the information reaches the brain. Examples of somatic reflexes include blinking or the knee jerk reflex. 

Visceral reflexes are reflexes that occur in the soft tissue organs of the body, such as the digestive and reproductive system. Examples of visceral reflexes include dilation of the pupils, defecating, and vomiting.

Somatic reflexes occur in the skeletal muscles, while visceral reflexes occur in the soft tissue organs of the body.