Reflex Facts

  • Reflexes are muscle movements that are automatic (they happen without you thinking about them).
  • Inborn reflexes are reflexes you were born with, such as urinating or shivering when you arc cold.
  • The knee-jerk is an inborn reflex that makes your leg jerk up when the tendon below your knee is tapped.
  • Primitive reflexes are reflexes that babies have for a few months after they have been born.
  • One primitive reflex is when you put something in a baby’s hand and it automatically grips it.
  • Conditioned reflexes are those you learn through habit, as certain pathways in the nervous system are used again and again.
  • Conditioned reflexes help you do anything from holding a cup to playing football without thinking.
  • Reflex reactions make you pull your hand from hot things before you have had time to think about it.
  • Reflex reactions work by short-circuiting the brain. The alarm signal from your hand sets off motor signals in the spinal cord to move the hand.
  • A reflex are is the nerve circuit from sense to muscle via the spinal cord.