A reflex arc is a neural pathway that controls an action reflex. In higher animals, most sensory neurons do not pass directly into the brain, but synapse in the spinal cord. This characteristic allows reflex actions to occur relatively quickly by activating spinal motor neurons without the delay of routing signals through the brain, although the brain will receive sensory input while the reflex action occurs.
There are two types of reflex arc: autonomic reflex arc (affecting inner organs) and somatic reflex arc (affecting muscles).
Famous quotes containing the words reflex and/or arc:
“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)
“Male urination really is a kind of accomplishment, an arc of transcendance. A woman merely waters the ground she stands on.”
—Camille Paglia (b. 1947)