Question
Mon August 27, 2012 By: Bhanu Priya Bhati

explain the reflex arc and the components involved in it?in detail.

Expert Reply
Thu August 30, 2012
Reflex arc is the the neural pathway involved in a reflex action.
The reflex arc typically consists of five components (3):

1. The receptor at the end of a sensory neuron reacts to a stimulus.

2. The sensory neuron conducts nerve impulses along an afferent pathway towards the central nervous system (CNS).

3. The integration center consists of one or more synapses in the CNS.

4. A motor (efferent) neuron conducts a nerve impulse along an efferent pathway from the integration center to an effector.

5. An effector responds to the efferent impulses by contracting (if the effector is a muscle fiber) or secreting a product (if the effector is a gland).

 

Working: The sensory neuron (such as a pain receptor in the skin) detects the stimuli and sends a signal towards the CNS. This sensory neuron synapses with a motor neuron which innervates the effector tissue (such as skeletal muscle to pull away from the painful stimuli). This is the simplest reflex arc.

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