Facts About Human Reflexes

When you are on a medical examination, your doctor sometimes asks you to cross your legs and then hit you with a small rubber hammer on your knees.

Your doctor wants to check your reflex. In this case it is a special, so-called patellar reflex, because he hammered into a knee joint called a patella.

What happens when a hammer hits a patella? The stimulus starts from the sensation of the knee cell and goes to the spinal cord. It is transmitted to the motor station, and it sends the action current to the muscles of the leg. The leg twitching.

This action is reflexive. In other words, it is automatic. We have no control over it because it has not started in our brain.

Did you know … Reflex of diving is inborn to all mammals!

For example, when you lie in bed and close your eyes, you do a voluntary action. But if that dust drift into the eye, you will close it immediately, whether you want it or not. This automatic movement is a reflex.

Accordingly, the reflex can be described as an automatic reaction of the organism, without the influence of will.


Read also: How to Hold Breath Longer!

How does reflex emerge?

When sensitive cells stimulate the skin, it is directed to the spinal cord and is then transmitted to the motor cells.

Motor cells send electricity to certain muscles and cause their work. These nervous impulses do not pass through the brain.

Did you know… More than 90 percent of all the activities performed by the human nervous system are reflexive actions!

Types of reflexes

Types of reflexes are numerous, but the two main types are conditional and unconditional.

Unconditional reflexes are characteristic of the species. Human is born with them, so they are called innate reflexes.

Conditional reflexes are formed on the basis of one of the unconditional reflexes. This reflex occurs during life and is a characteristic of the individual.

Did you know… Baby is born with more than 70 instinctive reflexes.

Pavlov’s dog experiment

Dog Ivan PavlovOne of the first investigators of conditional reflexes was Ivan Pavlov, the world’s leading physiologist at the beginning of the last century.

His famous experiment consisted of giving the dog at the same time food, causing an unconditional reflux of stomach juice, and turn on/off light (or ringing), which had nothing to do with stomach juice.

After a large number of repetitions, Pavlov only turned on the light to dog and registered the secretion of gastric juice. When this is repeated several times the secretion of juice decreased to a standstill.

The temporary connection, as its name implies, is lost if not periodically repeated along with classical conditioning.

Did you know… Statistically, people with dark eyes (black and darker brown) have a faster motor skills and reflexes.

What is the purpose of the reflex?

In its natural environment, reflexes make an important part of our nervous system. By being very fast and more or less automatically, they save time and mental energy when it is necessary to act at present, often with the goal of saving lives.

In medicine, reflexes are very useful because they allow very precise testing of different types of collisions within the nervous system so that we can locate all the difficulties that arise.

For example, tetanus reflexes are organized in the spinal cord in segments. Your doctor can test each segment in a row and so detect those that are damaged. By this it can be concluded which part of the spinal cord is involved in the disorder.

Did you know… Listening to songs during driving reduces concentration and slows reflexes.

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