The reflex arc

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Mind Map by harry_bygraves, updated more than 1 year ago
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Created by harry_bygraves over 6 years ago
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A-Levels Biology 5 (Sensitivity and Co-ordination) Mind Map on The reflex arc, created by harry_bygraves on 05/31/2013.

Resource summary

The reflex arc
1 The simplest type of animal behaviour is a reflex action in which the stimulus brings about an automatic, involunatary, and stereotyped response. This is an unlearnt behaviour. Reflex actions are innate and depend on nerve pathways that are inherited. Many reflex actions, such as withdrawal of the hand from a hot object, are protective.
2 The nerve pathway that transmits information rapidly from a receptor to an effector is called a reflex arc. Reflex arcs vary in complexity. The one that removes a hand from a hot object has three neurines;
2.1 A sensory neurone; that carries information from sensory recpetors to the CNS
2.2 A motor neurone; that carries information to an effector neurone
2.3 An interneurone; in the CNS between the sensory and motor neurone. It is also called the relay or association neurone because it makes synaptic connections with nerves that pass upwards into the assoiciation areas of the brain. These connections enable the brain to modify a reflex action, but it cannot stop it completely because information is transmited along the reflex arc too quickly
3 Fixed action patterns (FAP) are complex forms of stereotype behaviour characterised by relatively fixed patterns of coordinated movements. FAPs occur during nest-building in birds and the suckling response of newborn babies. the are brought about by specific stimuli called sign stimuli.
4 FAPs are largely innate responses but they differ from relex actions in that they may vary according to the precise conditions in which the sign stimuli are presented, and they can also be modified by experience
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