discussion_question_answers - Discussion Questions 1...

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Discussion Questions: 1. Physiologically, reflexes are unlearned, involuntary responses to a stimulus. This means it can occur whether you are consciously or unconsciously aware of it and even if you have never been “conditioned” or exposed to the stimulus before. For instance, during the patellar reflex (a monosynaptic reflex), when the patellar tendon is hit- it begins a series of physiological events that will ultimately lead to the leg jerking forward. So even if you were not aware of the tap, once the stimulus occurs you are going to get a reflex arc cumulating in a kick forward. In other scenarios you can have a learned response to a stimulus- but in this case it usually happens when you are consciously aware of the stimulus and have had past experience with it to “learn” a response. For instance, in the Pavlov experiment, a dog learns to salivate to the response of a bell (a neutral stimulus) which would otherwise create no major physiological response. So naturally, the dog would salivate (response) if given food (stimulus)- this is considered a reflex because it is unlearned and would happen whether the dog has had previous experience with food. However, a bell ringing stimulus would naturally not have any salivary affect on the dog but it can be conditioned to create a salivary response. The bell stimulus would be paired up with a presentation of food which would increase salivary output to the point where the dog was “conditioned” to salivate whether the food was present or not- but just on the factor of the bell ringing. Physiologically speaking this type of a response is not considered a reflex because during a reflex the stimulus and response are unconditioned. All reflexes are considered unlearned responses. A reflex arc is the neural pathway that mediates a reflex action . 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. Reflex Arc components: Receptor : Receptors respond to a particular stimulus. Receptors can be a specialized cell, nerve endings, or a specialized organ
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Afferent Limb : Often referred to as the sensory neuron, which sends the sensory information to the integrator. Integrator : Receives sensory information, processes the information, and then sends a motor command to an efferent neuron, if appropriate. Often times the integrator are interneurons. (Monosynaptic reflexes do not have interneurons, so the integrator is simply the synapse at the spinal cord.) Efferent Limb : Often referred to as a motor neuron, which relays information to the effector. Effector
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discussion_question_answers - Discussion Questions 1...

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