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Reaction time of Basic and Learned or Acquired Reflexes 1.

Using a reflex hammer elicit the patellar reflex in your partner. Note the relative reaction time needed for this basic reflex to occur. As we perform the procedure in eliciting the patellar reflex, we have concluded that there is rapid response of the reflex to the stimulus. Patellar reflex (knee-jerk reflex) is used to assess the degree of facilitation of spinal cord centers and used to determine the sensitivity of the stretch reflexes to respond to a given stimulus. It is expected that in performing the patellar reflex, the quadriceps muscle stretches instantaneously and excites a dynamic stretch reflex that causes the lower leg to jerk forward. 2. Reaction time for learned reflexes. Record the number of cm that passes through the subjects fingertips for each trial. Learned/acquired reflexes come about from extensive practice or repetition, making these activities seems automatic. The cerebrum reacts on the new reflexes that are learned and it is said that these reflexes make the neurons grow even more. Number of Trials 1 2 3 Distance in cm 20 18 13 Time in seconds 0.041 sec 0.037 sec 0.027 sec

As we performed the activity in evaluating learned reflexes we have observed that as the ruler was dropped repeatedly, the subject anticipates that it will be dropped anytime. This led us to conclude that there is relative speed of reaction in the learned response of the subject. 3. Reaction time for learned reflexes by saying simple word each time the performer releases the ruler. Record the number of cm that passes through the subjects fingertips for each trial. Number of Trials Distance in cm Time in seconds 1 14 0.029 sec 2 11 0.022 sec 3 10 0.020 sec By using a simple word that is utilized upon releasing the ruler, the brain interprets it ahead and therefore having the mechanism of the reflex faster than that of the spontaneous release of ruler at a random time. This led us to understand that the response of the brain activity is relatively rapid because there is an added stimulus (saying a word upon releasing the ruler) in performing the procedure. The subject is able to catch the ruler immediately at lesser distance. The reaction time also reveals that there is a variation in the results of the trials. This means that the more stimulus initiated, the more it is anticipated by the subject and responds immediately to the activity.

4. Reaction time for learned reflexes with word association. Record the number of cm that passes through the subjects fingertips for each trial. Number of Trials Distance in cm Time in seconds 1 2 3 The number of times the subject was unable to catch the ruler: 3 In this activity, the reflex arc contains polysynaptic mechanism of information delivery which includes one or more interneurons are involved. This means that the reflex involves two or more synapses in the central nervous system and referring to direct neural connections between three or more neurons in any neural pathway. With the use of word association, the subject was unable to catch the ruler. This maybe because there is an interruption or inhibition of some synapses. Thinking and processing of the said word in the cortex became a medium of the alteration of the learned response which leads to the inhibition of the motor neurons to respond immediately to elicit the grasp reflex. We have concluded that there is a possible inhibition of the active response for a reflex to occur when a stimulus is mediated.

You should notice quite a large variation in reaction time in these series of trials. Why is this so? There is large variation in the reaction time in these series of trial because in the principle of learned/acquired reflexes, some stimulus mediated the reflexes aids in the process of learning. There are some factors that affect the learned reflex. This may include the number of stimulus and the constant repetition of the activity. In the first activity of learned reflex, we have observed that the subject caught the ruler in greater distance than that of the second activity. This is because spontaneous release of the ruler in random time makes it difficult for the subject to anticipate its release thus, in the second activity, the word said by the performer became a hint for the subject that the ruler is about to be released therefore the subject catches the ruler in lesser distance. On the third activity which is the release of the ruler is accompanied by word association, the subject find it difficult to catch the ruler in time because multiple stimuli are initiated. Multiple synapses are activated and the cortex was able to identify just the direct pathway that is stimulated thus inhibiting the other synapse. Learned reflex aids in the growing of neurons.

Autonomic Reflexes Activity 5: Initiating Pupillary Reflexes The size of the subjects pupil prior to the activity is recorded as 3-4mm in both eyes. Following the instructions, we observed that as the light is introduced to shine by the left eye, there is pupil constriction and the same did in the right eye. Both pupils constricted/reacted even though we have shine the light to only one eye. This phenomenon is called pupillary light reflex which consists of simultaneous and equal constriction of the pupil in response to illumination of one or the other eye. These equal reactions of the eyes are so called consensual response. Constriction of the pupil when light is shine on it is its Pupillary light reflex is an important test of brainstem function. The significance of this test is to know whether there is present afferent lesion (in the retina or optic nerve) or efferent lesion (oculomotor or pupillary muscle). Constriction of the pupil is the protective way of the eyes to prevent large amount of light rays to enter the retina. When a contralateral response occurs, what does this indicate about pathways involved? Contralateral response is tested for us to be able to evaluate how the visual centers of the brain respond to a certain stimulus from the inside. This means that evaluating the contralateral response, we will be able to trace if there is an existing problem on the significant pathways involved. As the left eye was shine by light, the light travels to certain pathway and meet in the Eddinger-Westphal nuclei which generate action potential through the right and left oculomotor nerves thus resulting to the constriction of the other side/ both of the eyes. What is the significance of the absence of a normal pupillary reflex? The absence of papillary response indicates that there are problems related to the portions/pathways responsible to it. These are summarized below: Direct Response (Pupil Direct response is lost/ impaired in lesions of the Illuminated) ipsilateral optic nerve, Prerectal area, CN III, Pupillary constrictor muscles in iris Consensual Response Lesions in the contralateral optic nerve (Contralateral Pupil Prerectal area Illuminated) CN III Pupillary constrictor muscles What division of the autonomic nervous system is active during the testing of these reflex? The parasympathetic fibers in the oculomotor nervecarry the efferent impulses to the smooth muscle of the iris which is the effector. This means that the ANS that is activated in this test is the parasympathetic nervous system. What is the function of these pupillary responses? Pupillary light reflex and its subtypes protects the retina from excessive illumination, which is damaging to the photoreceptors.

Activity 6: Initiating Ciliospinal Reflex Neck of the subject is gently stroked. What is the reaction of the left pupil? What is the reaction of the right pupil? By following the instructions in the said activity, we have observed that there is no reaction occurred in the left eye when the neck of the subject is stroked in the same side. Gentle pinch in the neck of the subject in the same area. What division of the ANS is stimulated during the testing of these reflexes? When we gently pinched the neck of the subject on the same area, the left pupil dilated. Ciliospinal reflex is the sympathetic response to pain. It is a reflex that tests the functioning of the brainstem and autonomic nervous system. Unlike the light reflexes, the ciliospinal reflex is mediated via the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system. The sympathetic stimulation of pupillary dilator muscles is at work when we are in dim light, or during the flight versus fright reaction. On the basis of your observation, would you say that the sympathetic innervations Of the two iris are closely integrated? Why or why not? Sympathetic innervations of two iris are not integrated

Activity 7: Initiating the Salivary Reflex Using a graduated cylinder, measure the volume of the expectorated saliva and determine its pH. The amount of expectorated saliva is estimated to be 1cc and the pH is alkaline. Determine the pH of the subjects saliva after placing 2-3 drops of calamansi juice on their tongue. The pH reveals to be acidic. As before, the subject is to refrain from swallowing for 2 minutes. After the 2 minutes is up, again collect and measure the volume of the saliva and determine its pH. The estimated volume of the saliva collected is two folds greater than the previous collection. The pH of the latter is basic. How does the final saliva pH reading compare to that obtained 10 seconds after the application of the calamansi juice? What division of autonomic nervous system mediates the reflex release of saliva? The pH of the final saliva reveals to be alkaline while the pH of the saliva 10seconds after the application of calamansi juice is acidic. The mouth is alkaline in nature and any change in the natural environment of it will produce a protective response in order to maintain the equilibrium of the area. The secretion of salivary fluid and proteins is controlled by autonomic nerves thus; salivary reflex is part of the autonomic nervous system specifically the parasympathetic nervous system.

ILOILO DOCTORS COLLEGE West Ave., Molo, Iloilo City Department of Physiology

Name: Madoleine F. Dela Cruz Med 1-A Group 4 Laboratory II HUMAN REFLEX PHYSIOLOGY Objectives: 1. Name, identify and describe the function of each element of a reflex arc. Reflex Physiology Reflexes are automatic, subconscious response to changes within or outside the body. a. Reflexes maintain homeostasis b. Reflexes also carry out autonomic action of swallowing, sneezing, coughing, and vomiting c. Reflexes maintain balance and posture d. Brain reflexes involve reflex center in brain stem Reflex Arc The reflex arc governs the operation of reflexes. Nerve impulses follow nerve pathways as they travel through the nervous system. The simplest of these pathways, including few neurons, constitutes a reflex arc. Reflexes whose arc pass through the spinal cord are called spinal reflexes. Parts: a. Receptor detects the stimulus Description: the receptor end of a particular dendrite or a specialized receptor cell in a sensory organ Function: Sensitive to a specific type of internal or external change b. Sensory Neuron Conveys the sensory information to brain or spinal cord. Description: dendrite, cell body, and axon of sensory neuron Function: transmit nerve impulses from the receptor into the brain or spinal cord c. Interneuron relay neurons Description: dendrite, cell body, axon of a neuron within the brain or the spinal cord





Function: Serves as processing center, conducts nerve impulses from the sensory neuron to a motor neuron d. Motor Neuron conduct motor output to the periphery Description: dendrite, cell body, and axon of motor neuron Function: transmits nerve impulse from the brain or spinal cord out to an effector e. Effector Description: a muscle or gland Function: response to stimulation by the motor neuron and produces the reflex or behavioral action Indicate why reflex testing is an important part of every physical examination. The neurologic exam is part of the general physical examination. Reflex testing is part of the neurologic examination. It is indicated for us to be able to know if there are present problems related to neural activities (neurologic problems) and we will be able to determine possible lesions occurred in a specific part of the brain. Thorough assessment is the key to effective and efficient decision-making related to the treatment of the disease. Knowledge about these series of tests is important for the specificity of the medical interventions that will be implemented and especially, to prevent further damage in the affected part. Describe and discuss several types of Reflexes as observed in the laboratory; indicate the functional and clinical significance of each; categorize each as somatic or autonomic reflex action. *discussion will be in the succeeding pages Explain why cord-mediated reflexes are generally much faster than those involving input from higher brain centers. Cord mediated reflexes are done without learning or thoughts. The spinal cord is the command center or the star initiator of the reflex thats why it is rather called as involuntary reflexes. Reflex tests are the ones done on knees and elbows. They are much fastes than those involving input from higher brain centers because it doesnt need interpretation in the brain but rather simple stimulus can initiate a reflex. They are different from somatic reflexes- which are complex and learned responses. Investigate differences in reaction time of reflexes and learned responses. *to be discussed in later part

Somatic Reflexes Activity 1: Initiating Stretch Reflex What level of the spinal cord does knee-jerk reflex assess? Which muscle contracted? What nerve is carrying afferent & efferent impulse? Muscle jerks are used by neurologists to assess the degree of facilitation of spinal cord centers. Knee-jerk reflex assesses the L2 and L4 of the spinal cord. As we have observed, the area just below the patella (site of patellar tendon) is striked by a reflex hammer, it instantaneously quadriceps muscle without interneurons then the alpha-motor neuron conducts an efferent impulse back to the quadriceps femoris muscle initiating a dynamic stretch reflex and made the leg jerk or produce an immediate kick. The femoral nerve is carrying the efferent and afferent nerve impulse. Is the response more or less vigorous that the first response? What are you conclusions about the effect of mental distraction reflex activity? As what I have observed, when the activity is mediated by mental distraction, the response becomes less vigorous. Mental distraction activity promotes inhibition of the ventral aspect of the response. Thus multiple synapses takes place which leads to interruption of the direct response in the involuntary aspect of the reflex. Utilization of the thinking process is using interneurons to transmit impulses to the brain therefore I conclude that mental distraction can cause interruption of the involuntary synapses can produce weaker reflex response. Have the subject clasp the edge of the bench and vigorously attempt to pull it upward with both hands. At the same time, test the patellar reflex again. Is the response more or less vigorous thatn the first response? The response of the reflex is more vigorous than that of the former test. This is because the subject is unaware or preoccupied with the tension it is in the arm muscles resulting from more vigorous stretch reflex (patellar reflex). Test the patellar reflex again and record whether it is more or less vigorous than the first response? Would you say that the nervous system activity or muscle function is responsible for the changes you have observed? Explain. I have observed that by the presence of fatigued muscles, the patellar reflex is not that active or less vigorous. The muscle function is responsible for this phenomenon because continuous use of muscle will lead to the fatigued muscle which means that it cannot contract effectively anymore resulting to that lesser vigorous jerking movement of the patellar tendon after it is stimulated.

The Achilles or ankle-jerk reflex assesses the first sacral segment of the spinal cord. With our shoe removed and your foot dorsiflexed slightly increased the tension of the gastrocnemius muscle, have your partner sharply tap your calcaneal tendon with the reflex hammer. What is the result? Does the contraction of the gastrocnemius normally result on the activity you have observed ? Following the instructions given, we have observed that as the performer tapped the calcaneal tendon of the subject with dorsiflexion, gastrocnemius muscle didnt react, yet the foot continued to dorsiflex. Therefore I conclude that by using the muscle, somatic reflex will not take place because agonist muscle(gastrocnemius) is inhibited because of the utilization of the muscle.

Activity 2: Initiating the Crossed-extensor reflex The subject should sit with eyes closed and with the dorsum of one hand resting on the bench. Obtain a sharp pencil, and suddenly prick the subjects index finger. What are the results? Did the extensor part of this reflex seem to e slow compared to the other reflex you have observed? What are the reasons for this? Cross extensor reflex is more complex than stretch reflex. It consists of a flexor or withdrawal reflex followed by extension of the opposite limb. Frequently, the crossedextensor reflex accompanies the flexor reflex when weight bearing limbs are involved because it is important to maintain balance while avoiding the painful stimulus. I have observed that the subject jerked and the pricked hand flexed while the other hand extended to maintain balance. As the stimulus is integrating impulse the interneuron crosses over to the other side of the spinal cord where it sends excitatory signals to the quadriceps (extensors) and inhibits the hamstrings (the flexors).

Activity 3: Initiating Plantar Reflex Alternately, the subject may sit up so that the rest of the lateral surface of the foot on a chair. Draw the handle of the reflex hammer firmly down the lateral side of the exposed sole from the heel to the base of the big toe. What is the response? Is this normal plantar reflex or a babinski sign? To check the plantar reflex, the examiner draws a blunt object like the end of a reflex hammer across the lateral aspect of the sole of the foot. Following the procedure, we have observed that there was no response upon eliciting the plantar reflex. The response of the subject was normal because presence of Babinski reflex can only be found in young children not over 2 years old. If either the primary motor cortex or the corticospinal tract is damaged, the plantar reflex is replaced by an abnormal response called Babinskis sign.

Activity 4: Cranial Nerve Reflex Test: Initiating the Corneal reflex What reflexive reaction occurs when something touches the cornea? What is the foundation of this reflex? It is also called blinking reflex. It is an involuntary blinking of the eye which involves protective mechanism in the eyes from foreign bodies or bright lights. In the procedure, we used cotton swabs in stimulating the cornea and the subject elicited the blink reflex protecting his eyes from further harm. The corneal reflex is mediated through the trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve V). Absence of this reflex often indicates serious damage to the brainstem resulting from compression of the brain or other trauma. Cranial nerves V and VII have their nuclei (neuron cell bodies) in the pons of the brainstem. Initiating Gag Reflex Gently stroke the oral mucosa on each side of the subjects uvula with a tongue depressor. What happened? What is the function of this reflex? The gag or cough reflex tests the somatic motor responses of cranial nerves IX and X. The subject gagged when the sides of oral mucosa is stimulated/stroked. The uvula and the posterior part of the paryngeal walls moved back and upward simultaneously on both sides. Gag reflex is significant because it is a protective mechanism of our body to foreign objects that may cause aspiration.