What is and how does a reflex arc work?

A reflex arc sends a signal into the human body by stimulating a sensory organ (a receptor) along a sensory nerve cell to the spinal cord. After which this signal leaves the spinal cord via a motor nervous system, to an executive organ (effector) such as a muscle or a gland. This will respond by contracting, forming an arc or by excreting a product. This is then called a reflex arc!

Does this have something to do with nerves?

This indeed has something to do with nerves because the nerves control our muscles. To give an example: when only two nerve cells or neurons are between the receptor and effector. However, as most movements are the result of nerve impulses, which must also pass through a chain of nerve cells before they can stimulate a sensory organ to be executed.

How do nerve cells work?

Because there is a circuit in a number of neurons, between the sensory and motor nerve fibers, they only transmit the nerve signals to the next nerve cell. Most nerve functions are performed by the cerebral cortex.
The cerebellum is large and performs numerous functions. The front part of the brainstem, between the spinal cord and the brain. The thalamus is enlarged.
Here sensory and motor nerve fibers meet on their way to the cerebral cortex where the signals received are processed and stored in memory.

Are muscles connected to nerves?

In a motor unit, the nerve fiber is connected to a muscle fiber. Because each motor nerve fiber is connected to a muscle fiber in a motor unit. This muscle junction is called a motor terminal. An impulse releases acetylcholine again to change the passage of the muscle membrane.
This can be followed by the same ion shifts as in the nerve cells, triggering the resulting electrical current through the contraction mechanism of the muscle fiber.

What is a reflex?

The impulses are conducted to the spinal cord via sensory nerve cells.

  • A reflex is a fixed, rapid unconscious response to a certain stimulus
  • A reflex arc is the path that impulses take during a reflex. The goal is to interrupt the reflex arcs responsible for the spasms.
  • The prick of a sharp object is the stimulus that creates impulses in sensory cells of the foot. These impulses are conducted to the spinal cord via sensory nerve cells. In the spinal cord, the impulses are conducted via switching cells to motor nerve cells. The impulses are conducted to the leg muscles via the motor nerve cells.
  • The reaction of the eyes is to blink the eyelids.
  • Every reaction is a reflex because it is a fixed, rapid unconscious response to a stimulus.


Final conclusion

When an impulse is reached by a muscle fiber, it will contract and then relax. Many consecutive impulses keep the muscle tense, because there is no time to relax.
So, dear people, don’t let it get to this point, but take time and sufficient relaxation. Because the bow cannot always be tense! Then suddenly he breaks.

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