What Is a Reflex Action?

Philipp Schaetz

December 1, 2020

A reflex action is an involuntary response to a specific stimulus. It is a quick, automatic response and is therefore also known as a stimulus response. The stimulus that triggers the response is called the eliciting stimulus.

Examples of Reflex Actions

There are several reflex actions that you can see in humans. Here are a few of the most common ones.

Corneal Reflex

This reflex is triggered when you press your finger against the surface of your eye. When you press against your eye, the cornea responds by blinking and the eye quickly turns away from the object that is touching it.

Gag Reflex

This reflex is triggered when you put something in your mouth and touch the back of the throat. The gag reflex makes you vomit so that you can get rid of the offending object.

Moro Reflex

This reflex is triggered when you hold a newborn baby close to your body. The Moro reflex causes the baby to extend its arms and legs. It is a way for the baby to protect itself. It also helps the baby to develop its sense of balance and equilibrium.

Startle Reflex

This reflex is triggered when your brain receives a signal that there is a sudden sound or movement. This makes you jump and look to see the cause of the noise or movement.

Reflexes are the easiest way to tell if something is wrong with a person. They can help a doctor diagnose a disease or condition.

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