A reflex action, also known as a reflex, is an involuntary and nearly instantaneous movement in response to a stimulus
Stimulus (physiology)
In physiology, a stimulus is a detectable change in the internal or external environment. The ability of an organism or organ to respond to external stimuli is called sensitivity....

. A true reflex is a behavior which is mediated via the reflex arc
Reflex arc
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 does not apply to casual uses of the term 'reflex'.

See also

  • List of reflexes (alphabetical)
  • All-or-none law
    All-or-none law
    The all-or-none law is the principle that the strength by which a nerve or muscle fiber responds to a stimulus is not dependent on the strength of the stimulus...

  • Automatic behavior
    Automatic behavior
    Automatic behavior, from the Greek automatos or self-acting, is the spontaneous production of often purposeless verbal or motor behavior without conscious self-control or self-censorship...

  • Involuntary action
    Involuntary action
    An involuntary action is one which occurs without the conscious choice of an organism. If it occurs specifically in response to a stimulus, it will be known as a reflex....

  • Voluntary action
    Voluntary action
    A voluntary action is produced by conscious choice of an organism. The organism, would in turn also be aware of the action while it is executed. This is the opposite of an involuntary action...

  • Preflexes
    Preflexes are the latent capacities in the musculoskeletal system that auto-stabilize movements through the use of the nonlinear visco-elastic properties of muscles when they contract. The term "preflex" for such a zero-delay, intrinsic feedback loop was coined by Loeb...

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