The pharyngeal reflex or gag reflex (also known as a laryngeal spasm) is a reflex contraction of the back of the throat, evoked by touching the roof of your mouth, the back of your tongue, the area around your tonsils and the back of your throat. It, along with other aero digestive reflexes such as reflexive pharyngeal swallowing, prevents something from entering the throat except as part of normal swallowing and helps prevent choking.
Famous quotes containing the word reflex:
“As a medium of exchange,... worrying regulates intimacy, and it is often an appropriate response to ordinary demands that begin to feel excessive. But from a modernized Freudian view, worryingas a reflex response to demandnever puts the self or the objects of its interest into question, and that is precisely its function in psychic life. It domesticates self-doubt.”
—Adam Phillips, British child psychoanalyst. Worrying and Its Discontents, in On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored, p. 58, Harvard University Press (1993)