are actions like coughing, feeling hungary, blinking,chewing etc reflex or involuntary?state reasons

Asked by sakshi.eashan | 27th Sep, 2008, 05:30: PM

Expert Answer:

First of all remember some basic differences between reflex and involuntary action.

1. All reflex actions are involuntary in nature but all involutary actions are not reflexes as the beating of heart is an involuntary action but is not reflex action.

2. Reflex actions are very quick but all involutary actions may not be very fast as in heart beating.

3. A reflex action may involve any muscle or a gland as we withdraw our hand on touching a hot object but all involuntary actions involve only smooth i.e., involuntary or cardiac muscles.

4. Reflex actions are at the level of spinal cord whereas the involuntary actions generallly involve brain too.

5. Reflex actions are done to meet emergencies where as an involuntary action may or may not be for just meeting an emergency but may be a critical lie process as circulation of blood, swallowing of food, movement of food in food pipe, etc. 

Coughing is a reflex action of the throat to rid itself of any built up mucus or phlegm. It occurs when the nerve endings of our respiratory passage are stimulated. We blink when danger threatens the sensitive tissues of the eye and when we need to moisten and clean the cornea. This reflex occurs 900 times an hour. Sometimes we feel hungry if we happen to see or smell a favorite food. In such cases, feeling hungry becomes a reflex action. Otherwise it would be involuntary. Chewing also has a reflex aspect to them. Chewing is also a voluntary action since we chew when we want to. We can stop chewing the moment we need to.

Answered by  | 27th Sep, 2008, 05:34: PM

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