reflex arc


reflex arc
reflex arc n the complete nervous path that is involved in a reflex

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the nervous circuit involved in a reflex, being at its simplest a sensory nerve with a receptor, linked at a synapse in the brain or spinal cord with a motor nerve, which supplies a muscle or gland. In a simple reflex (such as the patellar reflex) only two neurones may be involved, but in other reflexes there may be several interneurone in the arc.

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the neural arc used in a reflex action; an impulse travels to a nerve center over afferent fibers and the response travels outward from the center to an effector organ or part over efferent fibers. See illustration.

Simple reflex arc by which sensory input leads to a muscular movement. A receptor transduces a painful stimulus into an action potential, which is conveyed by the afferent neuron to the central nervous system (CNS) and then passed on to the target organ by an efferent neuron, where the electrical signals are converted to muscle motion.


Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • reflex arc — n. Physiol. the entire nerve path involved in a reflex action …   English World dictionary

  • 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 characteristic allows reflex actions to occur relatively quickly by …   Wikipedia

  • reflex arc — the nervous circuit involved in a reflex, being at its simplest a sensory nerve with a receptor, linked at a synapse in the brain or spinal cord with a motor nerve, which supplies a muscle or gland. In a simple reflex (such as the patellar… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • reflex arc — re′flex arc n. phl the nerve pathways followed by an impulse during a reflex • Etymology: 1880–85 …   From formal English to slang

  • reflex arc — noun Date: 1882 the complete nervous path involved in a reflex …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • reflex arc — Physiol. the nerve pathways followed by an impulse during a reflex. [1880 85] * * * …   Universalium

  • reflex arc — noun The neural pathway that mediates a reflex …   Wiktionary

  • reflex arc — noun Physiology the nerve pathway involved in a reflex action …   English new terms dictionary

  • reflex arc — /riflɛks ˈak/ (say reefleks ahk) noun the path taken by neural impulses within the body from stimulus to reflex action …   Australian English dictionary

  • reflex arc — noun the neural path of a reflex • Hypernyms: ↑neural structure …   Useful english dictionary


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